The Patriots are always unpredictable in the NFL Draft. They trade draft spots to move up to take players no one expects and they take players in later rounds that turn out to be some of the greatest to ever play the game. It’s the Patriots way.
The Patriots defense needed an upgrade and the ever defense minded Belichick is always looking for that diamond in the pebbles. The guy that he sees that “something” in that others might not. The Patriots traded up to pick 21 and they took DE Chandler Jones from Syracuse. He is 6’5″ and 247 pounds. He is a 3 way player. A game changer on pass rushing, a run defender and able to drop back in coverage. Chandler is considered undersized but he has good wingspan and good mobility. He has a long stride and can move well down field. He might have trouble with bigger lineman and he does take a few steps to reach full speed. But Belichick must have seen something else in him. Something he can mold into a great defensive player. He wouldn’t have taken him otherwise.
The Patriots also moved up to 25th and with that pick they took ILB Dont’a Hightower from Alabama. Hightower is 6′ 2″ and 265 pounds. He has a great wingspan that he uses to maximum effect. He can tie up players and also move the pile at his feet all the while keeping the ball in sight. He has outstanding instincts and is always in position. He is technically sound and makes it look easy. He is not a guy who’s going to run a back down the field. He moves with a lot of momentum and can overshoot plays being unable to stop quickly.
The Patriots picked 16 in round 2 and with that pick they took FS Tavon Wilson out of Illinois. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 205. This is a classic out of left field pick by Belichick. Wilson is a combination FS and cornerback but in the “ratings” which are sometimes not exactly on target, he’s at a 48.2 grade. About half the grade of the Patriots first two picks.
The Patriots then traded their second pick of the 2nd round to the Packers and now won’t pick again until 30th in the 3rd round. But as all good Patriots fans know, this is the Patriots way.