Let’s dive right into the Patriots first four picks in a draft that they absolutely nailed. Stay on the lookout for breakdowns of the later rounds and the UDFAs.



The Patriots pleasantly surprised on Thursday night. They not only drafted a receiver in the first round, but one of N’Keal Harry’s caliber. The evaluation of the wide receiver class this year was at times murky waters of sorts. Many passionate film buffs, scouts, and analysts had N’Keal Harry fluctuating from the fourth best receiver in this class to the first. After watching a ton of film on this kid, all signs point to Harry being much closer to that number one spot to that number four.

What he does right:

-Contested ball catcher, reminds of a DeAndre Hopkins in that regard. 

-Big-bodied, yet moves at a pretty good speed for his size

-Very smart, faired really well during Patriots visit with playbook retention 

-Understands how to use his body to make catches

-Will play some outside receiver, could also play a good deal of slot at the next level

-Very solid catch radius 

-Makes catches look easier than they really are

-Good jump off the ball 

-Like a Marshawn Lynch or Gronk once he has the ball, very hard to tackle, YAC monster

-Can be a redzone monster at a Pro level, will help replace that redzone presence of Gronk 

Some nuances in his game: 

-Not polished route runner

-Sometimes struggles with press off the line of scrimmage 

-Occasionally struggles with focus in his game

-Not overly explosive or necessarily athletic 

-May struggle to separate 

-Not the greatest blocker in the world

Pro comparison: Dez Bryant

Instant impact: 3rd receiver on depth chart, gets utilized in LaFell role 

Grade: A+



Oh boy, did some people get mad over this pick or what? I have never seen so many fans get angry over a great pick. Besides maybe the picks after that, like Damien Harris, Yondy Cajuste, Hjalte Froholdt, and Jake Bailey. If Belichick had a nickel for every Patriots fan that said, “What is he doing? WE NEED A TIGHT END!”, Bill would probably be dining at an expensive restaurant on that money alone. Joejuan Williams is a corner who Belichick loved coming into the draft. He is a tall, bigger corner who excels at pressing receivers and covering bigger targets. Williams brings the Patriots size at the corner position that they really have not had since Brandon Browner. 

What he does right:

-Great physical traits 

-Great mental processing and awareness

-Watches a boat load of film

-Tremendous press corner 

-Described by many as “disruptive” to receivers 

-Has shown ability to come up and play the run

-Appears to have a really good understanding of coverage schemes

-Very, very good play recognition

-Extremely physical

-Solid tackler

-Faired really well against A.J Brown, DaMarkus Lodge, and Riley Rildey, who all were solid receivers in this year’s draft class

Some nuances in his game: 


-Technique at line of scrimmage must improve drastically 

-Not a world-class athlete

-Not a big playmaker 

-Struggles against shiftier receivers, Patriots would not match him up against Antonio Brown

-Inconsistency in his game

Pro comparison: Richard Sherman

Instant impact: 3rd corner on depth chart, battles with bigger targets, get utilized in Browner role 

Grade: A-



While he is undersized, Chase will play much like a Rob Ninkovich or Mike Vrabel. Winovich is an exciting pick for two reasons. 

1. He was an early second round pick in most people’s eyes. Sometimes even a late first. 

2. He helps replace some of the wackiness we lost when Gronk retired. Better hope Gronk does not come back because a nuclear war might erupt in that locker room. How crazy is he? He ate a live fish for a $20 bill.

Chase will play both defensive end and outside linebacker. This will give the linebacking core some more flexibility and the defensive line an edge rusher that does not quit. 

What he does right:

-Nice hand usage 

-Very measured and strategic, has a game plan every play on how to attack the quarterback

-Unreal amount of effort, will benefit that defense immensely 

-Really high floor

-Good run defender 

-High motor, full of energy 


-His heart, toughness, and effort could translate well to kick coverage or punt coverage teams as well 

-Loves football, wants to learn from veterans 

-Brings lots of versatility 

-Great execution 

-Smart football player

-Recognizes blocking schemes very well

-Extremely physical 

Some nuances in his game:

-Not the greatest athlete in the world

-Does not have too many pass rush moves in his tool belt

-Low ceiling 

-Undersized for defensive end, not athletic enough to play outside linebacker

-Will struggle in some matchups at the next level

-Not exactly explosive 

-Can be kind of slow off the ball 

-Hips not very fluid, not bendy

-Not a speed-counter type of rusher


-Change of direction 

Pro comparison: Clay Matthews 

Instant impact: Rotational defensive end, majority of snaps on first/second down, Ninkovich role

Grade: B+



Damien Harris will be a beast behind this offensive line, sharing carries with Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead. Runningback was also a need for the Patriots in this draft class. The need not in an immediate sense, but more for down the road. Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel have struggled to stay healthy in their respective careers, and James White and Rex Burkhead’s contracts climb to higher cap numbers next season, then expire in 2021. I personally expected Belichick to go runningback at some point in this draft class, but not this early. However, I personally am glad that Belichick grabbed Damien Harris. Damien will be a beast in the run game and can contribute on special teams. Patriots now have a four-headed monster in the backfield.

What he does right:

-Played both gap and zone run schemes at Alabama 

-Win first mentality 


-Excellent vision 

-Very explosive 

-Finds open space in defense with ease 

-Very balanced and solid

-Can be bell cow type of back, although it is unlikely he is utilized like this in New England’s system

-One cut 

-Demonstrates good patience 

-Runs really hard, runs through defenders 

-Will not lose yards to gain yards, north-south runner

-Measured, collected, and controlled runner

Some nuances in his game:

-Change of direction is his kryptonite 

-Instinct and creativity is shaky at times 

-Slightly below average burst 

-Lacks elusive traits 

-Will get caught from behind because of lack of burst

-Hand technique is spotty

Pro comparison: Corey Clement 

Instant impact: Rotational back, short-yardage back, will fight Burkhead for carries

Grade: A-