The New England Patriots did not have a ton of draft funds entering the 2017 NFL Draft. They experienced offloaded their initial-spherical select in the Brandin Cooks deal and had moved out of the second round as a aspect of their acquisition of Kony Ealy for the Carolina Panthers.
Include in the typical shifting and maneuvering that the Patriots do in every single draft, and the staff only came absent with four whole picks.
It was an unusually gentle haul for the Patriots. In point, it can be the fewest picks a Patriots crew has created in the course of Belichick’s tenure in New England. The next-fewest came all the way again in 2002 when the Patriots manufactured 6 options general.
On the brilliant aspect, the Patriots did land a vital contributor who bolstered their defensive line en route to consecutive Tremendous Bowl performances. They also obtained a reliable period out of Cooks and have been ready to flip him (alongside with a fourth-round decide) for initial and sixth-spherical picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Sadly, they didn’t hit on their two highest picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and only escaped the function with one real contributor.
Here’s a seem back again at how the Patriots fared in the ’17 draft and some retrospective grades for their 4-pick haul.
Patriots 2017 NFL Draft re-grades
Round 3, Select 83: EDGE Derek Rivers
Rivers flashed a minimal bit of move rushing upside through his time with the Patriots, but accidents derailed his career. He skipped his rookie 2017 season with a torn ACL and skipped the full 2019 time with an additional damage. He managed 2.5 sacks in 19 video games with the Patriots in minimal snaps. He’s now with the Texans and will glimpse to resurrect his profession.
Rivers is even now just 26, so if he can continue to be healthier, he may well be capable to switch into a sound rotational go rusher. But as for his Patriots profession, his 4 yrs with the group handed relatively quietly. Even additional painful, Chris Godwin went one particular variety after Rivers, so Patriots lovers are most likely pondering what could have been if they had landed him as an alternative of Rivers.
Spherical 3, Pick 85: OT Antonio Garcia
Through no fault of his possess, Garcia under no circumstances performed a down for the Patriots. All through the preseason of his rookie calendar year, he was put on the NFI list as a end result of blood clots in his lungs. He skipped his full first calendar year and was waived the following Might.
Just after that, Garcia bounced all-around the NFL and put in time with the Jets, Colts, and Dolphins but unsuccessful to make the 53-guy roster of any crew. Now, he is with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.
Garcia had a lousy hand dealt to him, but there is certainly no denying that this was a bust decide on for the Patriots. They received nothing out of Garcia and selected him just a handful of picks just before the likes of Shaquill Griffin, Kenny Golladay, and Jonnu Smith. That will make him the worst decide of the Patriots’ 2017 draft haul.
Round 4, Choose 131: DL Deatrich Smart Jr.
Clever is obviously the finest decide that the Patriots designed in the ’17 draft. He’s the only one particular of the four selections that’s continue to with the team and he has been a key part participant for the squad.
Given that remaining drafted, Intelligent has played in 62 video games and has designed 18 starts off, 7 of which arrived throughout the 2020 year. He is a fantastic pass rusher that experienced 14 sacks in his four NFL seasons. He generates a great deal far more heat than the 2.5 sacks he notched final year suggest, as he had 21 pressures in ’20. He also experienced a vocation-high 49 tackles final year after bulking up to boost as a run defender.
Clever re-signed with the Patriots on a 4-yr contract truly worth $22 million in the course of the 2021 NFL offseason. Clearly, Invoice Belichick values what he provides to the team’s defensive front as a functional, well-rounded lineman.
Round 6, Decide 211: OT Conor McDermott
McDermott has carved out a awesome career for himself as a swing tackle at the NFL stage. The UCLA products has additional a tiny muscle to his 6-foot-8 body and has been a solid backup for the groups he has performed for.
Sadly, those groups have not involved the Patriots. McDermott could not crack the 53-guy roster for the Patriots to start off the 2017 time and he was immediately claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Costs.
McDermott invested two-in addition seasons with the Payments ahead of he was waived all over again and landed with the New York Jets. McDermott has played 30 game titles throughout his NFL occupation such as 15 (a person start off) for the Jets past 12 months.
This grade is a minimal little bit sophisticated, as McDermott has develop into a sound NFL player… but not for the Patriots. But overall, getting a important purpose participant in Round 6 is under no circumstances a undesirable issue. It’s only undesirable when that participant bolsters depth on two divisional rivals.