Easley's selection alters a few of the initial predictions from the Day 1 primer. With New England's revised needs in mind, here's a new mock draft for the rest of the Patriots' draft.
Round 2, Pick 62: Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada
The Patriots will run to the podium if Bitonio falls this far. With a pair of struggling interior pass-blockers in Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly, New England could use Bitonio to shore up the pocket. As someone who could have been a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, Bitonio falling this far would represent tremendous value.
Round 3, Pick 93: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
A plethora of solid running backs figure to go off the board in Day 2, and Freeman is a well-rounded player capable of becoming an immediate fixture in New England's backfield rotation.
Freeman has a well-built compact frame that aids greatly in pass protection, where he shows terrific awareness. Freeman also comes with above-average receiving and after-the-catch ability, as well as excellent vision and balance to compensate for less-than-ideal size and speed. In short, Freeman is the type of well-rounded back who would fulfill a variety of roles for the offense.
Round 4, Pick 130: Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana
I had Tripp in my initial mock draft, and he would be terrific value in Day 3. Tripp's greatest weakness is his pass-rushing ability, but having drafted Easley, the Patriots have a bit more wiggle room in this department.
New England still needs linebacker depth, and with NFL offenses stocking up on physically freakish tight ends, the Pats could use more fluid athletes like Tripp. Moreover, his arrival would allow Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins to blitz more often, as both were essentially full-time coverage linebackers in 2013 due to the dearth of alternatives.
Round 4, Pick 140: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas
Jeffcoat would provide the edge-rusher that many Patriots fans may still covet. Moreover, with excellent three-cone drill and short shuttle times, Jeffcoat exhibits the agility and explosiveness the Pats value from their front-seven defenders.
Jeffcoat does need to add strength, as he would be a pure sub-package player at this point. However, that skill set has more value than a traditional base skill set, making Jeffcoat a prime mid-round pass-rushing target.
Round 6, Pick 198: Trey Burton, TE, Florida
If the Patriots do not draft one of the top four remaining tight ends, Burton looks like a logical late-round sleeper. A converted quarterback, the ex-Gator is an excellent athlete who is a surprisingly polished and savvy route runner.
Of course, having played quarterback, Burton is undersized for a tight end, and may be more of a hybrid running back/offensive weapon type. His value would obviously arrive in the passing game, but with excellent football intelligence, Burton would be a low-risk moderate-upside pick.
Round 6, Pick 206: Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell
Sticking with Mathews here, who fits the prototype as a tall pocket quarterback. Mathews' arm strength and ability to read through his progressions is a nice foundation for a late-round developmental project.
One caveat, however: If Curran's trade report about Mallett comes to fruition, the Patriots will be in need of a backup for 2014. In such an instance, a more pro-ready prospect like Alabama's AJ McCarron might go earlier.
Round 7, Pick 244: Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama
With Deone Bucannon off the board, the Patriots seem unlikely to draft a safety who could immediately challenge Duron Harmon for the starting job. Thus, Sunseri, a special teams ace who could eventually develop into a rotational safety, looks like a more likely possibility at the position.