Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
1. (17) OT Nate Solder, Colorado
I think that Solder is a bit overrated, and I think that Anthony Castonzo would have been a better pick at this point. He does fill a big need for the Patriots though, and Tom Brady has to like this pick.
2. (33) CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
A nice pick at this point, although I still had Aaron Williams more highly rated. He could contend for a starting spot next year and make a big impact for them.
2. (56) RB Shane Vereen, California
I’m a little shocked that they took a running back this early. Vereen is also a bit of a reach here, and I don’t see him as an every-down back.
3. (73) RB Stevan Ridley, LSU
Wow, this is a terrible pick. Not only is Ridley a huge reach here, but they just took Vereen and they didn’t need another running back.
3. (74) QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
The fall ends here for Mallett, and he couldn’t have ended up in a better situation. He will be well served to learn from Tom Brady for the next few seasons, and I think he’ll be a very good starter in a few seasons.
5. (138) OG Marcus Cannon, TCU
I love Cannon, and I don’t understand how he lasted this long. This is an excellent pick for the Pats, and he will contend for a starting spot right away next season.
5. (159) TE Lee Smith, Marshall
I don’t see the need for a tight end in New England. They had much bigger needs that they could’ve filled here.
6. (194) OLB Markell Carter, Central Arkansas
Carter is nothing but a project at this point, and I can’t believe it took them this long to draft a linebacker.
7. (219) CB Malcolm Williams, TCU
I have no idea who Williams is. They could’ve done much better at this spot.
Final Grade: C+
I know that Bill Belichick normally knows what he’s doing, but I question some of the picks he made. Solder has a ton of potential, but I don’t think that he was worth the 17th overall pick. Ras-I Dowling is a nice pick who could challenge for a starting spot this year. I didn’t really care for either of the running back picks, specifically the selection of Stevan Ridley, which was a huge reach. Ryan Mallett and Marcus Cannon were excellent value picks, but the Patriots failed to address the biggest need, which was at outside linebacker.