It's that time of the year again! I will be highlighting some of the players I would like the Patriots to pick in this year's draft. We have already highlighted some players and reported some private work outs, so be sure to follow us for updates! On the right hand side of this page, the "2016 NFL Draft" category will keep track of all potential Patriots players.
Sterling Shepard is going to be a good, if not great, NFL player in a couple of years. He may start as a special teamer, but he could develop into a player like Julian Edelman or Wes Welker.
Despite his slight frame, Shepard's toughness, strong hands, and quick cuts make him a player that could be great across the middle of the field. While Shepard plays primarily in the slot, he has fantastic hands and a great vertical from playing basketball that could translate into an outside game. Additionally, with 253 collegiate passes and only eight drops, Shepard appears to be poised to catch passes in volume on Sundays.
While Shepard runs great routes, he lacks strength and can be easily pushed out of sequence. Standing at 5-foot-10 and weighing only 194 pounds, Shepard will have a hard time battling against larger defensive backs out wide, if he is asked to do so.
Shepard would fit in well if the Pats did not already have Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Nate Washington on their roster, but he could find playing time depending on offseason workouts and the contract status of Danny Amendola.
Shepard has been rumored to go as early as the mid-20s, while other mock drafts have him as late as the end of the second round. Unless a team falls in love with him, the Patriots should be able to drafted the talented wide out if they identify him as a building block.