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New England Patriots Draft: Aggregating Report Card Grades from Around the Web

Mike DussaultSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2013

New England Patriots Draft: Aggregating Report Card Grades from Around the Web

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    The New England Patriots wrapped up their 2013 NFL draft haul on Saturday, and the grades from the pundits have been pouring in since then. 

    As usual, most are unimpressed, but it's Bill Belichick, so they can't exactly fail him. The Patriots always draft like this, and they continue to win.

    Belichick knows something the draftniks don't. He thinks about building a team, instead of just collecting talent.

    Though a draft can't truly be graded until a few years down the road, it's fun to see who got the most prospects the draftniks loved.

    Let's take a look at some of the grades and commentary from around the web.

Vinnie Iyer/Sporting News: B-

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    Vinnie Iyer likes the receivers, but he thinks there were some reaches.

    For not having a first-rounder, they had a decent haul in the No. 52-102 range. They needed to hit on outside receivers to better stretch the field for Tom Brady, and Marshall's speedy Aaron Dobson and TCU's physical Josh Boyce did the trick.

    After taking Chandler Jones last year, Bill Belcihick got another talented sack artist in Southern Miss' Jamie Collins. Belichick is in tune with Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knight secondary combination of Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon were reaches.

    I'd disagree on Logan Ryan. He's perfect to add some depth to the secondary, and will likely develop into a starting role down the line.

    Said Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe, he believes Ryan will have the longest career of all the Patriots rookies:

    Just a rock, solid good football player. Not reliant on his speed so he'll still be able to play when that starts to go because he just knows how to play. Also has safety versatility to that may help extend his career.

     

Andrea Hangst/Bleacher Report: B-

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    Andrea Hangst likes Josh Boyce as the best value pick and gets the Patriots' draft style.

    The Patriots rarely mess up their drafts. They find ways to accumulate picks, make trades and find value without feeling pressured to use every draft slot they have if they aren't impressed with their options.

    Hangst gets it, and Boyce has all the tools required to play for the Patriots. A lot of the pundits are underestimating the impact he could have.

Rob Rang/CBSSports.com: B-

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    Rob Rang loves Dobson and thinks that Josh Boyce will be a steal. Still, like most, he's scratching his head over Duron Harmon.

    The Patriots traded out of the first round and started off hot on the second day. Southern Miss linebacker Jamie Collins is a former safety who just kept getting bigger. He has exciting athleticism and physicality but needs significant polish.

    I love the Aaron Dobson pick and actually projected this match here. His size and speed should give Tom Brady the vertical threat that he has been missing since Randy Moss, another Marshall product, left town.

    I'm not quite as high on the former Rutgers teammates in the third round. Logan Ryan is more smooth than explosive. Duron Harmon, like several Patriots picks in the past, was a surprise and, frankly, a reach. Fourth-round receiver Josh Boyce is going to prove a steal. 

    When I look at the big picture, I see that the Patriots made a concerted effort to address their defense in the middle of the field. Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon and Steve Beuharnais are athletes who can deal with tight ends and slot receivers occasionally.

    Harmon definitely surprised us all, but the reality is that the Patriots have their draft board, and they stick to it, regardless of who the general consensus thinks the best safeties are.

Chris Burke/SI.com: C+

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    Chris Burke of SI.com drops the New England Patriots into the C+ range.

    This was a very Patriots draft — a couple of chances on fairly anonymous players, versatile defenders and a host of Rutgers guys. New England traded out of the 29th pick to add No. 52 (OLB Jamie Collins), No. 83 (CB Logan Ryan), No. 102 (WR Josh Boyce) and a seventh-round selection it later traded.

    Does that collection of players make up for passing on a late first-rounder? The Patriots need WR Aaron Dobson to be a weapon. Oh, and who knows on that Round 3 pick of S Duron Harmon.

    They're always "very Patriots" drafts; I'm not sure why anyone is that surprised by it anymore. Just sit back and know that no matter how much draft research you do, they're going to select someone you've never heard of.

Pete Prisco/CBSSports.com: B-

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    Pete Prisco likes Jamie Collins, but doesn't think Aaron Dobson is the right fit.

    Best pick: Getting Jamie Collins in the second round is a heck of a pick. This kid has a lot of talent and could end up being special.

    Questionable move: I didn't like the second-round pick of receiver Aaron Dobson. I thought there were better options and he isn't a flyer, which they need.

    Third-day gem: I like the choice of fourth-round pick Josh Boyce. He is a quality receiver who will help.

    Analysis: The Patriots traded out of the first round for more picks and then landed a heck of a pick in Collins. They hit on a few others, but third-round safety Duron Harmon was a reach.

    This is the first I've seen of someone not thinking Aaron Dobson was a great pick. It seems like everyone who gets a closer look at him thinks he's a great fit. The biggest question we had about wide receivers going to the New England Patriots is whether they had the football smarts to handle it.

    Dobson was praised by Bill Belichick for just that.

Mel Kiper/ESPN: C+

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    Mel Kiper thought the New England Patriots could've signed Duron Harmon as a free agent and doesn't see any immediate sizzle.

    “I don't see a starter out of this draft in the short-term, but they added players with some really good traits. It's just a matter of development now.” 

    Apparently, drafting for the future really hurts your draft grade, even if you've been the Super Bowl and the conference championship the last two years with a relatively young defense.

    Of course, Kiper is wrong. Aaron Dobson will start, and Josh Boyce might, too. Both will be instrumental to the offense.

Evan Silva/Yahoo! Sports: C-

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    Evan Silva was the most harsh on the New England Patriots, giving them a C- for not going with a "win-now" mentality.

    The Patriots entered the draft with just five picks and did well to maneuver down the board, picking up more chances to improve their roster.

    Collins is an underrated, explosive edge rusher. Dobson had the best hands of any receiver in the draft. Boyce can really run, and Buchanan is talented enough to develop into an eventual NFL contributor.

    Ryan will play on special teams and may eventually push slot cornerback Kyle Arrington for snaps. The Patriots drafted several solid prospects and could get surprise impact from some members of the group, but New England is a win-now team and I'm not confident this draft will help them get where they want to be in 2013.

    Not really sure what the Patriots did so bad to deserve a C- based on how Silva praises it. Is the draft supposed to be about "win-now?" The Patriots have always been a win-now team, that's what they won-then, win-nowand will keep winning as long as Bill Belichick is there.

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