Here are my thoughts on Patriots 2013 draft picks.
A defensive line player or linebacker, Collins has the skill and versatility to accomplish many things. He can drop into short-range pass coverage, stop the run, or put pressure on the quarterback. The Patriots could use him to bolster their defensive reserves, the most likely place for Collins.
A wide receiver and the conventional pick, Dobson is the tall receiver that the Patriots need. He is useful for Brady as he adjusts to missing Welker and Moss. Expect Dobson to start, and pick up the fantasy points towards the latter part of the season, after he’s gotten used to the system.
Ryan is likely to serve as a reserve secondary player for the Patriots. He doesn’t have the greatest skills, but can be relied upon to meet the team’s needs for part of a game if absolutely necessary. Those people in leagues with fantasy defensive players: stay away.
Another secondary pick, just a few picks later for the Patriots. The Patriots need significant reserve help at the defensive back positions, a void that could be filled by Harmon, likely if he moves from safety to cornerback. Harmon isn’t expected to succeed with the Patriots or be with them for a long time, but Bill Belichick is known for having unconventional picks pan out.
The Patriots had a bunch of picks in a short span, and were expected to try to acquire major help during this time frame. With Boyce, they pick up a second receiver, to help replace the departing Moss and Welker. He’s not as skilled as Dobson, and not as tall, but has greater speed. With luck for the Patriots, Dobson and Boyce will step up big this year. They’ll have to for Brady’s aerial attack to succeed like it has in the past.
The Patriots traded away intermediate picks to bolster their run game, so chose to take another defensive player as opposed to an offensive player. Buchanan holds the same position as Collins, and it will be interesting to see in the future how much their paths are intertwined. Buchanan’s fate will be determined by how well he can recover from his injury, and the depth held at other positions. It remains possible, but unlikely, for him to crack the starting group.
Beauharnais fits the mold of previous Patriots linebackers, and will be a help to their defensive middle. With a strong training camp and preseason, its possible for him to get regular playing time: something usually unheard of for people with his distinction