NFL Draft 2019: The Patriots Wheel and Deal for One of the League's Best Classes
Foxborough, MA– It is hard to envision a scenario where the 2019 NFL Draft went any better for the New England Patriots. Acquiring a plethora of capable and promising talent, as well as engaging in a number of complicated trades, the Patriots were present with a big role in every day of the draft and they have arguably the most successful draft class they have had in years. Of course, it also helped that the Patriots were tied for the most draft picks of any team, unlike in previous years when unjust NFL investigations dismantled the Patriots' presence in the drafts.
In the first round, New England drafted one of the most physically imposing wide receivers, N'Keal Harry. They then continued to buoy the positions in the most need of help by trading up (one of the seven trades for New England on the weekend) to draft Joejuan Williams, a cornerback from Vanderbilt, who specializes in guarding tight ends in the secondary.
In the third round, New England boosted the defensive end position by drafting Michigan's Chase Winovich. They also acquired West Virginia's offensive tackle, Yodny Cajuste, as well as Damien Harris, a running back from Alabama who will complement Sony Michel.
In the fourth and fifth rounds, New England made a big splash by drafting, chronologically, Arkansas offensive guard Hjalte Froholdt (the second NFL player to come from Denmark), Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Maryland defensive end Byron Cowart, and Stanford punter Jake Bailey. The final pick for New England in the 2019 NFL Draft was Ole Miss cornerback Caleb Wilson.
Obviously, late round selections are never to be discounted, but most of these players are meant to compete with existing roster selections for crucial spots on the roster, especially with Bailey, as he helps keep the pressure on Ryan Allen to continue punting at a high level.
Aside from the top of the draft, which is loaded with underrated talent that Bill Belichick thrives on developing, the most notable selection is Stidham. A fourth round pick, he's not a natural fit for a potential succession plan for Tom Brady. But there's no denying that New England is looking to groom him and have him learn in the tutelage of the greatest to ever play the game.
As for the Patriots' draft grade, I have to give them an A. I cannot imagine any scenarios where they could have improved on their selections as the Patriots seemed to control the board completely and do whatever they wanted and needed to do. It was the best New England football draft in years and the team will hopefully reap the benefits of their new young core for years to come.