Patriots

/ by Justin Leger
Presented By DraftKings
Patriots

That's all she wrote for the 2020 NFL Draft, and it was an eventful Day 3 to wrap things up.

The New England Patriots spent their late-round picks on a replacement for longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski, along with offensive line depth and an under-the-radar linebacker. It was somewhat of a surprise to see the Patriots go without drafting a quarterback or a wide receiver, but it's simply another example of Bill Belichick being unpredictable.

Overall, New England had a solid draft as did the rest of the AFC. There were some exceptions, of course, but altogether it was a pretty strong showing by the conference.

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So without further ado, it's time to break out the report cards. Here are our final draft grades for the Patriots and the rest of the AFC.

Baltimore Ravens

Picks made: LB Patrick Queen (No. 28), RB J.K. Dobbins (No. 55), DT Justin Madubuike (No. 71), WR Devin Duvernay (No. 92), LB Malik Harrison (No. 98), OL Tyre Phillips (No. 106), G Ben Bredeson (No. 143), DT Broderick Washington (No. 170), WR James Proche (No. 201), S Geno Stone (No. 219)

Grade: A

Analysis: What a draft it was for the Ravens. They nailed their first pick in LSU linebacker Patrick Queen, added another stellar rusher in J.K. Dobbins, and they just kept going from there. Baltimore went on to grab Justin Madubuike at No. 71, which is fantastic value for a defensive tackle that could have even been a first-rounder. Malik Harrison is another solid pick and will look great in this fearsome Ravens defense lining up next to Queen. In the later rounds, the Baltimore made some stellar value picks including Proche and Stone with their final two selections. Overall, this is an easy A.

 

Buffalo Bills

Picks made: EDGE A.J. Epenesa (No. 56), RB Zack Moss (No. 86), WR Gabriel Davis (No. 128), QB Jake Fromm (No. 167), K Tyler Bass (No. 188), WR Isaiah Hodgins (No. 207)

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Bills took advantage of Epenesa, a player that would have been a great fit on the Patriots, slipping to the second round. They followed that fantastic pick by snagging a balanced running back in Zack Moss. Day 3 saw Buffalo adding two big targets for Josh Allen in Davis and Hodgins. Jake Fromm finally found a home in Round 5 and should be a serviceable backup for Allen. Like the Patriots, the Bills grabbed a kicker with one of their late-round picks in Bass. Overall, a solid draft by Buffalo as they added some depth while stealing one of the most intriguing edge rushers in the class.

Cincinnati Bengals

Picks made: QB Joe Burrow (No. 1), WR Tee Higgins (No. 33), LB Logan Wilson (No. 65), LB Akeem Davis-Gaither (No. 107), DE Khaleed Kareem No. 147), G Hakeem Adeniji (No. 180), LB Markus Bailey (No. 215)

Grade: B+

Analysis: Cincinnati made an excellent move pairing Tee Higgins with Joe Burrow. After improving their offense, they shifted their focus to the D by grabbing back-to-back linebackers in Wilson and Davis-Gaither. Both moves could pay off as the Bengals have needed LB help for quite some time now. They wrapped up the draft by adding some nice depth in Kareem, Adeniji, and Bailey. Burrow headlined the Bengals' week, but don't sleep on their draft as a whole.

Cleveland Browns

Picks made: OT Jedrick Wills Jr. (No. 10), S Grant Delpit (No. 44), DT Jordan Elliott (No. 88), LB Jacob Phillips (No. 97), TE Harrison Bryant (No. 115), C Nick Harris (No. 160), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (No. 187)

Grade: B+

Analysis: Cleveland desperately needed a left tackle, so they nailed that first-round pick of Wills Jr. After that, they got another steal in the second round by adding Grant Delpit to their secondary. Elliott is solid value as well, and Phillips represents a potential replacement for Joe Schobert. Harrison Bryant was one of our top tight ends in this year's draft class, so that could prove to be a solid addition to the Browns offense. Cleveland finished up by getting Nick Harris -- potentially the eventual replacement for J.C. Tretter -- and a steal in Peoples-Jones.

Denver Broncos

Picks made: WR Jerry Jeudy (No. 15), WR KJ Hamler (No. 46), CB Michael Ojemudia (No. 77), G/C Lloyd Cushenberry (No. 83), DL McTelvin Agim (No. 95), TE Albert Okwuegbunam (No. 118), LB Justin Strnad (No. 178), G Netane Muti (No. 181), WR Tyrie Cleveland (No. 252), DE/OLB Derrek Tuszka (No. 254)

Grade: B+

Analysis: The Broncos went all out to help out their QB Drew Lock. They grabbed stud wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler with their first and second-round selections before improving the secondary with Michael Ojemudia. After giving Lock a couple of weapons, Denver gave him some protection in Lloyd Cushenberry. The commitment to helping Lock, as well as filling holes in their defense, gives the Broncos a nice draft grade for 2020.

 

Houston Texans

Picks made: DT Ross Blacklock (No. 40), EDGE Jonathan Greenard (No. 90), OT Charlie Heck (No. 126), CB John Reid (No. 141), WR Isaiah Coulter (No. 171)

Grade: B

Analysis: Bill O'Brien's goal for the early part of this draft was to improve the defensive line, and he did just that by adding Blacklock for the interior and Greenard for the edge. On Day 3, Houston acquired protection for Deshaun Watson in Heck. Reid and Coulter were interesting depth picks to wrap up their draft.

Indianapolis Colts

Picks made: WR Michael Pittman Jr. (No. 34), RB Jonathan Taylor (No. 41), S Julian Blackmon (No. 85), QB Jacob Eason (No. 122), G Danny Pinter (No. 149), DT Robert Windsor (No. 193), CB Isaiah Rodgers (No. 211), WR Dezmon Patmon (No. 212), LB/S Jordan Glasgow (No. 213)

Grade: B-

Analysis: Indy had a busy draft, to say the least. Pittman was an interesting choice as there appeared to be a few more intriguing options on the board, but he's a solid No. 2 receiver regardless. Taylor is one of the most exciting backs in the draft class and that pick should make for an exciting pairing with Marlon Mack. Blackmon is a high-risk, potentially high-reward pickup as he's coming off an ACL injury. Eason is very intriguing as he can learn a ton backing up veteran Philip Rivers in 2020. There were a few odd moves on Day 3, but overall, not too shabby of a draft for Chris Ballard and Frank Reich.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Picks made: CB C.J. Henderson (No. 9), EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson (No. 20), WR Laviska Shenault (No. 42), DT DaVon Hamilton (No. 73), G Ben Bartch (No. 116), CB Josiah Scott (No. 137), LB Shaquille Quarterman (No. 140), S Daniel Thomas (No. 157), WR Collin Johnson (No. 165), QB Jake Luton (No. 189), TE Tyler Davis (No. 206), CB Chris Claybrooks (No. 223)

Grade: B

Analysis: Henderson is a perfect pick for Jacksonville after parting ways with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Combine that with Chaisson at No. 20, and those are two huge additions to the Jags defense. Taking Shenault on Day 2 filled another need at wide receiver, and Hamilton bolsters their run defense. One of the better picks for Jacksonville on Day 3 was Scott, another nice addition to the secondary. Overall, a busy and effective draft for a rebuilding Jaguars squad.

Kansas City Chiefs

Picks made: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (No. 32), LB Willie Gay Jr. (No. 63), OT Lucas Niang (No. 96), CB/S L'Jarius Sneed (No. 138), DE Mike Danna (No. 177), CB Bopete Keyes (No. 237)

 

Grade: B-

Analysis: Edwards-Helaire was a nice pick at the end of Round 1 as Darwin Thompson is the only other Chiefs running back without a soon-to-be expired contract. After that, the Super Bowl champs filled a few needs at linebacker and tackle before adding depth to their secondary and on their defensive line. Nothing too crazy, but a solid draft for a team that doesn't have a ton of holes.

Las Vegas Raiders

Picks made: WR Henry Ruggs III (No. 12), CB Damon Arnette (No. 19), RB/WR Lynn Bowden Jr. (No. 80), WR Bryan Edwards (No. 81), S Tanner Muse (No. 100), G John Simpson (No. 109), CB Amik Robertson (No. 139)

Grade: B-

Analysis: Jon Gruden wants speed. That much is crystal clear. He got exactly that with Ruggs at the top of Round 1, and he'll be a fun weapon for Derek Carr. Arnette was a questionable pick to follow up with, and Bowden Jr. is simply a complementary piece behind Josh Jacobs. Adding Edwards further improved the offense, but Gruden sort of ignored the team's defensive needs in this draft. That brings them down a notch in our final grades, as their Day 3 picks were solid depth moves, but didn't do a whole lot to impress us.

Los Angeles Chargers

Picks made: QB Justin Herbert (No. 6), LB Kenneth Murray (No. 23), RB Joshua Kelley, RB (No. 112), WR Joe Reed (No. 151), S Alohi Gilman (No. 186), WR K.J. Hill (No. 220)

Grade: B

Analysis: Have the Chargers found their next franchise QB? Well, no one knows the answer to that one, but it's very possible. Herbert is a pretty polarizing pick for L.A. but it's one that had to be made after Tua was picked by the Dolphins right before them. The Patriots traded their No. 23 pick to the Chargers and L.A. snagged Murray, who will make an immediate impact defensively. With Melvin Gordon gone, the Chargers also grabbed Kelley to pair with dynamic RB Austin Ekeler. Hill is a name to remember, as he could prove to be a major steal with their final pick of the draft.

Miami Dolphins

Picks made: QB Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5), OT Austin Jackson (No. 18), CB Noah Igbinoghene (No. 30), OL Robert Hunt (No. 39), DT Raekwon Davis (No. 56), S Brandon Jones (No. 70), G Solomon Kindley (No. 111), DE/DT Jason Strowbridge (No. 154), DE/OLB Curtis Weaver (No. 164), LS Blake Ferguson (No. 185), RB/WR Malcolm Perry (No. 246)

Grade: B-

Analysis: Brian Flores was a busy man, starting with his pick of Tagovailoa at No. 5 overall. We may look back at that pick as one that changed the course of the Dolphins franchise, or we could look back at one of their biggest mistakes given Tua's lengthy injury history. Jackson was a nice pick to follow up with as protection for Tua is a major need. The same can be said for Hunt. With Flores leading the way, it's no surprise that defense was a major focus for Miami as well. Igbinoghene was a bit of a reach, but Davis and Weaver could turn out to be steals. Kindley was another excellent selection to protect the injury-prone QB. Drafting a long-snapper was weird, but whatever.

 

New England Patriots

Picks made: S Kyle Dugger (No. 37), EDGE Josh Uche (No. 60), LB Anfernee Jennings (No. 87), TE Devin Asiasi (No. 91), TE Dalton Keene (No. 101), K Justin Rohrwasser (No. 159), G Michael Onwenu (No. 182), OT/G Justin Herron (No. 195), LB Cassh Malula (No. 204), C/G Dustin Woodard (No. 230)

Grade: B

Analysis: Defense was the priority here for Belichick as he first improved the secondary by taking D-II standout Dugger in the second round, then added the potential steal of the draft in Uche. Jennings fills a need at linebacker as well with multiple players at the position leaving via free agency. Asiasi and Keene being drafted back to back is interesting as it fills a major need at tight end, but they weren't the top tight ends on many big boards. The Patriots needed a kicker, and they got their guy in Justin Rohrwasser. Many believed they'd go with Rodrigo Blankenship, but this was just another of Belichick zigging while everyone else zags. New England finished off the draft by adding some offensive line depth to protect Stidham or whoever ends up being under center next season.

New York Jets

Picks made: OT Mekhi Becton (No. 11), WR Denzel Mims (No. 59), S Ashtyn Davis (No. 68), EDGE Jabari Zuniga (No. 79), RB Lamical Perine (No. 120), QB James Morgan (No. 125), OT/G Cameron Clark (No. 129), CB Bryce Hall (No. 158), P Braden Mann (No. 192)

Grade: A-

Analysis: Protection for Darnold? Check. The Jets got that in Becton, who fits right in as their new left tackle. A weapon for Darnold? Check. They nailed that one by grabbing Baylor's Mims in Round 2. Davis was a nice pick as well, as he'll add some much-needed depth to the safety corps. Don't sleep on Hall, either. Although he's injury-prone, he's an absolute steal if he can find a way to stay on the field.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Picks made: WR Chase Claypool (No. 49), LB Alex Highsmith (No. 102), RB Anthony McFarland Jr. (No. 124), G Kevin Dotson (No. 135), LB/S Antoine Brooks (No. 198), DT Carlos Davis (No. 232)

Grade: B

Analysis: The Steelers didn't have a first-rounder, but they made the most of their first selection with Claypool, who projects to be a matchup nightmare with his size. Highsmith was a reach at No. 102 overall. McFarland is an intriguing pick and will be a nice compliment to James Conner. This wasn't a star-studded draft for Pittsburgh, but it was a solid one.

Tennessee Titans

Picks made: OT Isaiah Wilson (No. 29), CB Kristian Fulton (No. 61), RB Darryton Evans (No. 93), DT Larrell Murchison (No. 174), QB Cole McDonald (No. 224), S Chris Jackson (No. 243)

 

Grade: B+

Analysis: Wilson makes perfect sense for Tennesee as he'll fit right into the run-first offense. Fulton will make an instant impact on the Titans' defense as he was our fourth-rated corner and a potential first-rounder. Evans is a solid replacement for Dion Lewis, who was released this offseason. McDonald creates some QB competition for Ryan Tannehill, but isn't exactly a threat to take the starting job. After all, the Titans invested a ridiculous amount of money in Tannehill not too long ago. Altogether, a nice draft for Mike Vrabel.