The New England Patriots didn’t have a ton of draft funds entering the 2017 NFL Draft. They experienced offloaded their initially-round decide in the Brandin Cooks offer and had moved out of the 2nd spherical as a section of their acquisition of Kony Ealy for the Carolina Panthers.
Insert in the standard moving and maneuvering that the Patriots do in just about every draft, and the staff only came away with four overall picks.
It was an unusually light-weight haul for the Patriots. In reality, it really is the fewest picks a Patriots staff has manufactured in the course of Belichick’s tenure in New England. The second-fewest arrived all the way back in 2002 when the Patriots manufactured 6 options total.
On the bright side, the Patriots did land a critical contributor who bolstered their defensive line en route to consecutive Tremendous Bowl performances. They also obtained a stable period out of Cooks and were being equipped to flip him (along with a fourth-round pick) for 1st and sixth-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Sad to say, they did not strike on their two highest picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and only escaped the party with one particular accurate contributor.
Here is a glimpse back at how the Patriots fared in the ’17 draft and some retrospective grades for their four-choose haul.
Patriots 2017 NFL Draft re-grades
Spherical 3, Decide 83: EDGE Derek Rivers
Rivers flashed a minimal bit of move hurrying upside in the course of his time with the Patriots, but accidents derailed his job. He skipped his rookie 2017 season with a torn ACL and missed the total 2019 year with yet another injury. He managed 2.5 sacks in 19 video games with the Patriots in confined snaps. He is now with the Texans and will appear to resurrect his occupation.
Rivers is continue to just 26, so if he can keep healthy, he may be able to switch into a strong rotational go rusher. But as for his Patriots profession, his 4 years with the team passed comparatively quietly. Even a lot more agonizing, Chris Godwin went one particular variety right after Rivers, so Patriots lovers are most likely wondering what could have been if they experienced landed him as a substitute of Rivers.
Spherical 3, Choose 85: OT Antonio Garcia
By means of no fault of his personal, Garcia never ever played a down for the Patriots. For the duration of the preseason of his rookie 12 months, he was positioned on the NFI checklist as a end result of blood clots in his lungs. He missed his total very first 12 months and was waived the subsequent May well.
Soon after that, Garcia bounced about the NFL and invested time with the Jets, Colts, and Dolphins but failed to make the 53-guy roster of any team. Now, he’s with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.
Garcia experienced a undesirable hand dealt to him, but there’s no denying that this was a bust choose for the Patriots. They acquired very little out of Garcia and selected him just a handful of picks in advance of the likes of Shaquill Griffin, Kenny Golladay, and Jonnu Smith. That will make him the worst select of the Patriots’ 2017 draft haul.
Round 4, Pick 131: DL Deatrich Smart Jr.
Smart is clearly the very best pick that the Patriots made in the ’17 draft. He’s the only one of the 4 picks that’s nonetheless with the team and he has been a critical role participant for the squad.
Due to the fact becoming drafted, Sensible has performed in 62 games and has manufactured 18 commences, 7 of which came all through the 2020 time. He’s a fantastic pass rusher that experienced 14 sacks in his 4 NFL seasons. He generates a lot much more warmth than the 2.5 sacks he notched final season point out, as he had 21 pressures in ’20. He also had a profession-substantial 49 tackles previous year following bulking up to improve as a operate defender.
Wise re-signed with the Patriots on a 4-yr deal truly worth $22 million throughout the 2021 NFL offseason. Obviously, Bill Belichick values what he delivers to the team’s defensive front as a adaptable, perfectly-rounded lineman.
Spherical 6, Pick 211: OT Conor McDermott
McDermott has carved out a good vocation for himself as a swing tackle at the NFL degree. The UCLA product or service has additional a tiny muscle mass to his 6-foot-8 frame and has been a reliable backup for the groups he has played for.
Regrettably, individuals groups have not provided the Patriots. McDermott couldn’t crack the 53-man roster for the Patriots to begin the 2017 year and he was immediately claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Charges.
McDermott invested two-in addition seasons with the Charges right before he was waived again and landed with the New York Jets. McDermott has played 30 video games through his NFL career like 15 (just one start off) for the Jets final yr.
This grade is a little little bit complicated, as McDermott has become a solid NFL player… but not for the Patriots. But in general, finding a important role player in Round 6 is under no circumstances a poor detail. It is really only lousy when that player bolsters depth on two divisional rivals.