Recent New England Patriots Second Round Picks

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Free agency is all but over, which means it’s time to put the focus on the 2019 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots boast 12 picks in this years’ draft and have the chance to restock their roster with cheap, cost-controlled talent. The Patriots have two picks in the second round this year, so let’s take a look back on the recent history of the New England Patriots second round picks.

New England Patriots Recent First Round Picks

New England Patriots Recent Third Round Picks

A Breakdown of Recent New England Patriots Second Round Picks

2018: Duke Dawson, 56th Overall

Bad things happen to Patriots defensive backs drafted in the second round, and Florida’s Duke Dawson was no exception. Initially acquired to compete in the slot, Dawson’s rookie season ended before it really began. Dawson battled injury throughout training camp and started the season on the short-term injured reserve. Dawson returned for the second half of the season but never played a snap. Thanks to New England’s fantastic secondary, the rookie never had a chance to see the field.

It’s obviously too early to call Dawson a bust, and the Florida product will enter camp competing with Jonathan Jones for the slot cornerback position. Jones had a strong 2018, finishing the year as the 73rd-ranked cornerback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. Dawson is facing an uphill battle to start, but he certainly has the draft pedigree to usurp Jones. At the very least, he should see the field in a reserve role, assuming he’s fully healthy.

2017: No Pick, Traded For Ealy and Third Round Pick

The Patriots essentially traded their second-round pick for a third-round pick. New England loves to make pick-swap trades, and the 2017 Patriots needed help on the edge. Instead of banking on an unknown rookie, New England decided to drop a bit in the draft to pick up defensive end Kony Ealy. With Rob Ninkovich retired, the Patriots hoped Ealy could develop into a starter opposite Trey Flowers.

Things didn’t go as planned. Ealy didn’t fit New England’s scheme, and the one-time Super Bowl star couldn’t make the Week One roster. It’s not like Ealy lost out to elite talent, as Cassius Marsh started the season opener opposite Trey Flowers. New England only fell eight picks in the draft, but there’s no doubt the Patriots would like a do-over on this selection.

2016: Cyrus Jones, 60th Overall

Cyrus Jones is a case study in how a bad start to a career can snowball into wasted talent. Coming out of college, Jones was supposed to be a solid cornerback with significant upside as a punt and kick returner. Special teams is the fastest way to Bill Belichick’s heart, and the pick looked like a home run at the time.

However, Jones was a disaster during his rookie season. The Alabama product hardly saw the field as a rookie, and bad things happened during his limited playing time. He couldn’t handle defensive duties and got ejected for throwing a punch against the Cleveland Browns. He was even worse on special teams, as he somehow managed to fumble five of his 19 returns. All in all, Jones’ rookie season was a disaster by just about every measure.

Jones didn’t have a chance to prove himself in 2017, as the former second-rounder tore his ACL midway through an up-and-down preseason. He returned to the field in 2018 but didn’t last long in New England. Jones appeared in just two games with the Patriots before getting released. The Alabama product signed on with the Baltimore Ravens, appearing in 11 games for the eventual AFC North champions.

2015: Jordan Richards, 64th Overall

It’s not hyperbole to say that selecting Jordan Richards in the second round was one of Belichick’s biggest blunders. Initially projected as a late-round selection, Belichick opted to take the Stanford safety late in the second round. Despite his lofty draft status, Richards never developed into anything more than an unremarkable special teamer. His underwhelming athleticism was constantly on display, as he wasn’t able to cover running backs, tight ends, or contribute against the run.

The Patriots dealt Richards to the Atlanta Falcons following the 2018 preseason. New England received a conditional seventh-round pick in exchange, and the Patriots easily got the better side of the deal. Richards is not an NFL-caliber player and is one of the worst picks in the Belichick Era.

2014: Jimmy Garoppolo, 62nd Overall

While Belichick’s recent second-round decisions have been questionable, this one was right on the money. Knowing Brady can’t play forever, Belichick drafted his heir apparent in Garoppolo. This pick signaled that the Patriots were beginning to look at what lied beyond Brady.

Brady continued to get better and better, never letting Jimmy G get anywhere near the field. Brady won a Super Bowl in Garoppolo’s rookie season and never gave the Eastern Illinois product a chance to steal his job. Garoppolo was called on for the first two games of 2016 as Brady served a four-game suspension, and he played great.

In his six quarters as the Patriots starter, Garoppolo went 2-0, throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions. Garoppolo went down with a shoulder injury in his second start, but it looked as though the Patriots had another franchise quarterback waiting in the wings.

The only downside to Jimmy G’s Patriots tenure is how it ended. With Brady still playing his best football, the Patriots realized there was no way to keep both players. The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers at the 2017 trade deadline. Brady’s former understudy went on to sign the biggest contract in NFL history at the time and appeared in three games in 2018.

New England Patriots Recent First Round Picks

New England Patriots Recent Third Round Picks

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