Here we go! The Patriots finally were on the clock and made some picks in last night's 2nd and 3rd round of the 2016 NFL draft. We will take a deeper look at the Patriots' players taken, but the 2nd and 3rd round were extremely interesting. Let's ask some questions to the BBS staff about last night's festivities....
What was the most surprising selection of the night?
Pete: For me, there were two moves that coincided with each other that were equally surprising: Jaylon Smith at 34th overall (Dallas) and Myles Jack at 36th overall (Jacksonville). There is no question about these guys' ability, but the fact of the matter is that they both had extremely serious injuries. With modern medicine, both should have some impact in the NFL, but picking them so early in the 2nd round seems like quite a reach, especially for a team like the Cowboys, where expectations are through the roof.
Jacob: This is a no brainer for me. With several holes at key positions, the Patriots needed to address some of their issues in the early rounds of the draft. They did that to some extent, but I was completely shocked when Bill Belichick opted to waste a 3rd round pick on a quarterback who wasn't highly valued coming in. The Patriots are trying to put the best team on the field to maximize the final seasons of Tom Brady's career, and with the next quarterback seemingly already on the team, it made zero sense to select yet another quarterback in the early rounds.
Who will have the best career out of the players taken?
Pete: I am going to go a little out of the box here and say Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo with the Tampa Bay Bucs. As a junior kicker, no one expected Aguayo to go as high as he did, yet here we are. Nevertheless, people have said that Aguayo is one of the most prepared and ready kickers coming out of college and into the NFL. Unless he has a complete breakdown, he should have a long and lucrative career in the NFL.
Jacob: Barring major injury, I think Myles Jack could end up having a fantastic career in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have had an absolutely incredible draft to this point, picking up stud defensive back Jalen Ramsey in the first round and landing Jack (a top 10 talent) in the second. Jack has the potential to be an elite, do-it-all player for the Jags if he is able to stay healthy.
Who will be the biggest bust?
Pete: Although I really wanted this guy on the Patriots, for now, I am going to say Braxton Miller. With no true position (he played RB, QB and WR in college), Miller is going to need to develop his game as a receiver in order to make a living in the NFL. As currently constituted, Miller is a special teamer who has the potential to be a good slot receiver.
Jacob: What a crappy night to be a Jets fan. In the second round, the Jets selected quarterback Christian Hackenberg out of Penn State, a pick that could not have made less sense. For starters, he wasn't projected to go for quite a big longer, and the Jets already have several young quarterback projects from previous drafts. Hackenberg is a massive project, as he has a ton of problems with his mechanics, and when you add in how high he was taken, this pick could wind up being a massive bust.
Which team had the best night?
Pete: It's hard to say who will become a contender because of a bunch of 2nd and 3rd round draft picks, but I can certainly tell you who lost tonight, and that is the New York J-E-T-S. After watching the debacle that is the Denver Broncos two nights ago select Paxton Lynch in the first round, the Jets tried to one-up them and drafted Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg at 51st overall. I don't want to knock Hackenberg, because watching him in his first year at Penn State, you can tell the kid knows how to play football. However, after having a successful season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets will be rolling out Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg. Yuck.
Jacob: I'm going to have to go with the Houston Texans. I really didn't put too much thought into this, because it's hard to tell which guys will have the biggest impact. But with a new quarterback, there are two things that are critical to making the acquisition a smooth transition; one is having a good offensive line, and the other is giving him a good group of receivers to throw to. The Texans helped to address both last night, as they added highly regarded center Nick Martin and project receiver Braxton Miller. Martin will have an immediate impact on the field, and while Miller needs some work, he is extremely talented and could eventually be a big weapon for the Texans.
How do you feel about the Patriots players taken?
Pete: For the most part, I feel pretty good about the players taken. Alabama's CB Cyrus Jones and NC State's G/T Joe Thuney could have immediate impact on the New England Patriots, while NC State QB Jacoby Brissett and Nebraska DT Vincent Valentine look to be project pieces for the future. All in all, it was a pretty good day for the Patriots, but more work is needed.
Jacob: I have mixed feelings after last night. I absolutely love the additions of Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones and North Carolina State offensive lineman Joe Thuney, and Nebraska DT Vincent Valentine is an intriguing piece, but I still have no clue whatsoever why the team selected quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
Who was your favorite pick of the night for New England?
Pete: The easy pick here is Cyrus Jones, but I will go out of the box and say Jacoby Brissett. While there is no way in hell that Brissett sees the field for an extended period of time with Tom Brady around, I like the idea of the Patriots taking a quarterback and planning towards the future. If this kid progresses nicely, then the Pats can trade Jimmy Garoppolo when his value is high. Additionally, the Patriots needed to get another quarterback on the roster after the Deflategate ruling, as there was only one active QB for the first four games.
Jacob: Being an Auburn Tigers fan, I've seen my fair share of Cyrus Jones and the Alabama Crimson Tide. He's extremely fast, and offers a lot of versatility, something the Patriots crave. He's a very talented player and fills a need in the secondary, and I think he will excel with this team.
What do you expect to see from the Patriots in the next couple of rounds?
Pete: If you follow me on Twitter (shameless plug: @Pete_BBS), then you saw that I was desperately crying for a running back. After Derrick Henry was taken by the Tennessee Titans (a bizarre pick with recently-acquired Demarco Murray), my attention shifted towards LA Tech's Kenneth Dixon, Arkansas' Jonathan Williams, and Utah's Devontae Booker. If the Pats are smart, they will draft a running back as insurance for Dion Lewis and another weapon for Tom Brady in January.
Jacob: Definitely a running back. The backfield they have now is nowhere near good enough, as their best option is a guy who's knee is a ticking time bomb. I like all of the guys Pete mentioned, it's just a matter of who the Patriots deem to be the best fit.