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Patriots NFL Draft Primer: New England's Picks, Needs & Potential Targets

BOSTON (CBS) -- The NFL Draft is here. Three days of it. And the New England Patriots are going to be a busy bunch throughout the bonanza.

Bill Belichick and company have 12 selections over the three-day extravaganza, the most the team has had since 1996 when they had 13 going into the weekend. It'll allow the New England brass to plug up the holes up and down the depth chart, and give them plenty of opportunities to move up or down (or even out of) any round they please.

Here's everything you need to know to get ready for the Patriots in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Picks

Here is New England's collection of picks. Their 12 selections are tied with the New York Giants for the most in the 2019 NFL Draft:

1st Round, 32nd overall (own)
2nd Round, 56th overall (via Chicago)
2nd Round, 64th overall (own)
3rd Round, 73rd overall (via Detroit)
3rd Round, 97th overall (comp pick for Nate Solder)
3rd Round, 101st overall (comp pick for Malcolm Butler)
4th Round, 134th overall (own)
6th Round, 205th overall (comp pick for Danny Amendola)
7th Round, 239th overall (via Philadelphia)
7th Round, 243rd overall (via Cleveland)
7th Round, 246th overall (own)
7th Round, 252nd overall (comp pick for Cameron Fleming)

Only 32 picks will be made on Thursday night, and the Patriots get to go last. Each team can take up to 10 minutes per pick, so it'll be late night for Pats fans. But we're used to that by now, and most don't even get irritated anymore when they trade out of the first round around 11:30 p.m.

The second and third rounds take place Friday night, which is when the Patriots will do most of their roster building. They'll likely draft a receiver, tight end or quarterback (maybe one of each) at some point Friday. Teams have seven minutes to make their pick in the second round and five minutes in the third.

The rest of the draft will eat up your Saturday afternoon, and at the moment, a lot of it will be spent waiting. The Pats will make the final pick of the fourth round, and then won't pick again until we get to the comp picks portion of the sixth round. Then you'll get a flurry of picks in the final round. Chances are the Pats will make a move or six to get a few more early picks on Saturday.

Teams have five minutes to make their picks in rounds 4-6, and four minutes in the seventh round.

The Needs

Wide Receiver

Belichick has never drafted a wide receiver in the first round with the Patriots. He may consider doing so this year.

Julian Edelman is still Julian Edelman, but he'll be 33 next season. After him, there are some major concerns on New England's depth chart. No one knows if Josh Gordon will be allowed to play football next season. There is no guarantee that Demaryius Thomas will make the team out of camp. Phillip Dorsett is a nice little player, but he's not a No. 2.

The Patriots haven't had much success at drafting receivers under Belichick, with Deion Branch and Edelman his only real hits at the position. But that shouldn't stop him from trying to bolster Tom Brady's arsenal.

Potential Picks: A.J. Brown, Mississippi (Projected: late first-round); Parris Campbell, Ohio State (first round); Deebo Samuel, South Carolina (second round); Andy Isabella, UMass (second round); Mecole Hardman, Georgia (third round); Riley Ridely, Georgia (third round); Miles Boykin, Notre Dame (third round); David Stills, West Virginia (fourth round); Jalen Hurd, Baylor (Day 3)

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski is enjoying the finer things in life now that he's retired, like making veggie soup. Perhaps he'll return at some point, but the Patriots are going to need a lot more than Austin Seferian-Jenkins heading into the season.

Luckily there are a number of talented tight ends coming out in this year's draft, and with their plethora of picks, don't be surprised if the Pats draft a couple over the next three days.

Potential Picks: Noah Fant, Iowa (first round, likely gone by No. 32); Irv Smith, Alabama (second round); Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M (second round); Kahale Warring, San Diego State (Day 2)

Pass Rusher

Trey Flowers is in Motown, leaving the Patriots without their best pass-rusher from last season. Considering the Patriots found Flowers in the fourth round in 2015, there's little doubt they can find someone to help set the edge over the weekend.

Potential Picks: Chase Winovich, Michigan (second round); Zach Allen, Boston College (second round); Christian Miller, Alabama (late-Day 2, early-Day 3); Jamal Davis, Akron (third round)

Defensive Tackle

One of the deepest positions in this year's draft, the Pats will have a good opportunity to add some depth to the interior of their defensive line behind Lawrence Guy, Mike Pennel and Adam Butler. Knowing Belichick, he'll probably go for a defensive tackle in the first round.

Potential Picks: Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State (first round); Dexter Lawrence, Clemson (first round); Dre'Mont Jones, Ohio State (second round); Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois (third round)


The Patriots are always in the market for some more bodies at linebacker. Kyle Van Noy will be a free agent after this season. Dont'a Hightower isn't getting any younger. And no one know what to expect from Ja'Whaun Bentley after he missed most of his rookie season.

Potential Picks: Mack Wilson, Alabama (first round); Blake Cashman, Minnesota (third round); Tyrel Dodson, Texas A&M (Day 3)


Another position where the Patriots could get a little younger. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are great for the present, but they are both turning 32 in August.

Potential Picks: Darnell Savage, Maryland (second round); Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt (second round); Amani Hooker, Iowa (third round); Will Harris, Boston College (third round); Saquan Hampton, Rutgers (Day 3)


Tom Brady will be 42 when the new season starts. No one doubts that he can play until 45 anymore, but the Patriots should still be preparing for a future without the GOAT in the stable. At the moment, Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling are behind Brady on the depth chart. That is not a great plan for the future.

Potential Picks: Daniel Jones, Duke (first round); Ryan Finley, NC State (second round); Will Grier, West Virginia (third round); Clayton Thorson, Northwestern (third round); Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (Day 3)


With 12 picks at Belichick's disposal, there will be trades. He can maneuver the draft board any way he wants. The Patriots will probably trade down a few times. They may trade up a few times. They may trade out and get a few extra picks next year. And last year, they even traded a pick for a player. That player was Trent Brown, who worked out pretty well blocking Brady's blindside.

Under Belichick, the Patriots have trade up 21 times in the draft. They've traded down 24 times. They'll probably do a little bit of both over the next three days. Overall, Belichick has made 70 draft-day trades in his 19 drafts with the Patriots.


These facts mean absolutely nothing in regards to this year's draft. Enjoy!

- Belichick has held the No. 32 overall pick three times with the Patriots, taking tight end Ben Watson (2004), guard Logan Mankins (2005) and defensive tackle Malcom Brown (2015).

- The Baltimore Ravens drafted quarterback Lamar Jackson with the No. 32 overall pick last year.

- The Patriots have picked at No. 56 overall seven times in franchise history, including last year when they took cornerback Duke Dawson out of Florida. They also drafted running back Shane Vereen at No. 56 back in 2011.

- The Patriots have held the No. 64 pick twice in franchise history, most recently taking Jordan Richards in 2015. Linebacker Todd Collins was the 64th overall pick by New England in 1992.

- New England has held the No. 73 pick five times. They took Stevan Ridley with the selection back in 2011.

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