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2014 Possible Draft Prospects For The Patriots

While the New England Patriots have been perennially AFC contenders for the last 11 seasons or so, they’ve haven’t won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season.  Tom Brady is still among the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but the Patriots window to hoist their fourth Lombardi Trophy is closing   The Patriots have address the cornerback position this offseason by signing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, but they’re still positions of need on defense.  Here are the positions and prospects I see the Patriots eyeing during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Kony Ealy

School: Missouri

Height: 6’4

Weight 273 pounds

The Patriots desperately need a pass rusher, so what better way to address that than selecting Kony Ealy in the first round of the draft. Last season for Missouri, Ealy had 14.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks and forced three fumbles. Ealy’s length and quickness off the edge are exactly what’s missing in the Patriots defense.

In two seasons as a starter for the Tigers, Ealy defended 13 passes, and showed the instincts and athleticism to wreak havoc against quarterbacks in other ways than just sacking them. He also has the versatility to play in a 4-3 and 3-4  defense. Scouts compare Ealy’s play to Robert Quinn, defensive end for the St. Louis Rams. If Ealy is plays anything like Quinn, who finished second in sacks last season with 19, then Ealy could be the next star in the NFL.

Jace Amero

School: Texas Tech

Height 6’5

Weight 265 pounds

Last season, the Patriots missed Aaron Hernandez on the opposite side of Rob Gronkowski. So I can see them drafting a tight end to try to recreate that dynamic duo from a few years backs. With the best tight end in the draft Eric Ebron expected to be gone before New England picks at 29, the Patriots could likely target Amaro in round one.   Last season for the Red Raiders, Amaro had 98 catches for 1,240 and seven touchdowns in 12 games.

The 21-year-old fits the Pats offense perfectly as he lined up mostly in the slot at Texas Tech. He can use his big body to gain position in coverage over defenders, but he can also use his large hands to attack the ball. Amaro is a very good route-runner that has enough speed to create separation.  Considering the Patriots’ wide receiver corps is average at best, the team may be best served to select a possible playmaker at tight end like Amaro to compliment Gronkowski.

Bishop Sankey

School: Running Back

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 209 pounds    

With LeGarrette Blount signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers during this offseason, look for the Patriots to draft someone to replace him, possibly in the second or third round. Bishop Sankey could be the perfect replacement as he brings a lot of different things to the table.   Despite inconsistent play from quarterback Keith Price and the Huskies’ offensive line, Sankey still managed to break Corey Dillon’s single-season school rushing record with 1,870 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in the process. Sankey has excellent vision and can quickly burst through holes. He is also a good pass catcher out of the backfield as he had 64 catches for 561 yards during his three-year career.

Sankey is much better pass blocker than most running backs coming out of college. He has good technique and could provide the quarterback another blocker in passing situations, despite his height and size.   You never have to worry about Sankey’s durability as he never missed a game while at Washington.  Because of his hard work and play, he was voted team captain as a junior last season.    

Brock Vereen

School: Minnesota

Position: Safety

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 199 pounds

The Patriots need to address the safety position and Brock Vereen is the type of player the team could target in the later rounds of the draft. He is versatile as he played both safety and cornerback while at the University of Minnesota. Vereen is a good athlete with smooth skills and good secondary range. He also has good speed as he ran a 4.47 at the NFL Scouting Combine. Vereen also is also a defender that’s good in zone coverage and he is quick to recognize routes.

He can also contribute on special teams as a gunner if a team needs him to. Not to mention he Vereen NFL pedigree as his brother  Shane, plays for the New England Patriots and his father, Henry, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Considering the Patriots need depth at safety, this could be a good draft pick for them in the third day of the draft.

 

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