Patriots

Updating Patriots' 2020 NFL draft picks after Duron Harmon trade with Lions

Updating Patriots' 2020 NFL draft picks after Duron Harmon trade with Lions

The New England Patriots roster has lost several key players in free agency, but luckily for the six-time Super Bowl champions, they are loaded with picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Patriots traded safety Duron Harmon and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to the Detroit Lions for a 2020 fifth-round pick. The Lions announced the trade Wednesday, and NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported the details of the draft picks involved Thursday. The Patriots now own a fifth-round pick, which they did not have previously as a result of the Michael Bennett trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.

New England has 12 total picks in April's draft, and only the Miami Dolphins have more selections (14). This abundance of draft capital will help Patriots head coach Bill Belichick address the weaknesses of his roster, which has been hurt by the reported free agent departures of quarterback Tom Brady, center Ted Karras, linebackers Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts, defensive lineman Danny Shelton and special teams ace Nate Ebner.

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Here's an updated look at the Patriots' picks in the 2020 NFL Draft:

1st Round - 23rd pick
3rd Round - 87th pick
3rd Round - 98th pick (compensatory selection)
3rd Round - 100th pick (compensatory selection)
4th Round - 125th pick (from Chicago Bears)
5th Round - 172nd pick (from Detroit Lions)
6th Round - 195th pick (from Denver Broncos)
6th Round - 204th pick (from Houston Texans)
6th Round - 212th pick (compensatory selection)
6th Round - 213th pick (compensatory selection)
7th Round - 230th pick (from Atlanta Falcons)
7th Round - 241st pick (from Seattle Seahawks)

Perry: These unreal stats tell key part of Brady-Belichick story

Tom Brady, ex-Patriots teammates, coaches react to George Floyd murder

Tom Brady, ex-Patriots teammates, coaches react to George Floyd murder

The death of another unarmed black man at the hands of a police officer has sparked outrage across America.

George Floyd, 46, was murdered Monday in Minneapolis when a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes while three other officers stood by.

Floyd's death has led to protests, riots and in some cases violence throughout the country as Americans called for justice in his killing and demanded an end to police brutality against minorities.

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Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed his support for that movement Friday, posting the #JusticeForFloyd hashtag on his Instagram story.

Meanwhile, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who left the Patriots in 2018 to become one of just three African-American head coaches in the NFL, made a powerful statement Friday noting the irony behind the outrage over Colin Kaepernick's protests before NFL games.

Flores' statement hit home with two former Patriots: Detroit Lions safety Duron Harmon and Dolphins cornerback Eric Rowe.

The Patriots' newly-acquired defensive tackle, Beau Allen, also posted a statement to Twitter on Friday night after seeing riots break out in his home state of Minnesota.

Several of Allen's Patriots teammates reacted to Floyd's death on social media, as well: linebacker Ju'Whaun Bentley urged others to take a stand for justice, while defensive backs Devin and Jason McCourty called for justice for Floyd and shared a video of rapper/activist Killer Mike's powerful speech to protesters in Atlanta.

The officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested on third-degree murder charges.

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Are Patriots' RBs the best position group in entire NFL? Ex-NFL GM thinks so

Are Patriots' RBs the best position group in entire NFL? Ex-NFL GM thinks so

Some would argue the New England Patriots lack elite offensive weapons.

Mike Tannenbaum would argue they actually have an embarrassment of riches -- at one position, anyway.

During an appearance Friday on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria," the former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins general manager argued the Patriots may have the best position group in the NFL.

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"I think you can make a case that the New England Patriots running back room arguably is the best position room of any position of any team in the league," Tannenbaum said, via WEEI.com.

Notice Tannenbaum didn't say the Patriots have the best running back group in the NFL. He believes New England's running backs are the strong position group, period, in the NFL.

That's a hot take, Mike. Care to explain?

"They go five and six deep," Tannenbaum said. "I had Brandon Bolden with the Dolphins. We rarely get to talk about (Damien) Harris, who is a really good player out of Alabama. Then you think about (Rex) Burkhead, James White and obviously Sony Michel. It is a great group."

The Patriots indeed have great versatility and depth at running back: Michel is the early-down workhorse and White is the passing game threat, while Burkhead and Bolden can give you a bit of both. Harris, the team's third-round draft pick in 2019, couldn't even crack this deep rotation as a rookie.

Pundits seemed to agree with Tannenbaum before the 2019 season, too: SB Nation and Bleacher Report pegged the Patriots' RBs as the best and second-best running back group in the NFL, respectively.

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But that was prior to a 2019 campaign in which New England rushed for 1,703 yards as a team (18th in the NFL) while averaging just 3.8 yards per attempt (25th). The Patriots' leading rusher, Michel, averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, good for 40th among 47 qualified rushers.

Of course, the Patriots' offensive line contributed to their lack of success in the running game. And the team's backs were effective in the passing game, as White finished fourth among all RBs with 72 receptions.

Still, it's difficult to imagine New England's running back room as a better position group than, say, the Kansas City Chiefs' explosive wide receivers or even the Patriots' shutdown cornerback group.

If you buy Tannenbaum's argument, though, quarterback Jarrett Stidham has reason for optimism in 2020.