Day two of the NFL Draft starts tonight and we will see how the picks in the second and third rounds play out. The Patriots will finally have the chance to make some selections with two second round picks (#60 and #61) and two third round picks (#91 and #96). The Patriots certainly have needs, as I highlighted in my article last week. With plenty of talent left on the board, let's take a look at 10 potential players the Patriots could draft:
1) Sean Davis, CB/S - Maryland: Davis has ideal size to play in a NFL secondary (6'1", 202 lbs), he has the desired position versatility that the Patriots covet, has a good amount of athleticism, and is tenacious on the field. Davis has spent one-on-one time with Bill Belichick, which is usually a big indicator of how interested the team would be in a prospect. He is a workout freak as well and could slot in as the main back-up at both outside cornerback and safety if needed while being able to contribute on special teams right away as well. New England could have a chance in the late second to grab him.
2) Yannick Ngakoue, OLB/DE - Maryland: Another Maryland prospect, the team has met with Ngakoue on three separate occasions (combine, a private workout and a private visit). He is at a position of need with his EDGE/defensive end projection and is another highly athletic prospect. Ngakoue can help seal the edge on run plays while still developing as a pass rusher. Ngakoue could fit right in as an early down rotational EDGE player while learning how to hone in his pass-rushing ability. Ngakoue has the chance to be there at the end of the third round for the Patriots.
3) Jordan Jenkins, OLB/DE - Georgia: Another EDGE prospect, Jenkins comes highly heralded from Georgia. He has met with the Patriots on more than one occasion and is a very smart football player with a high I.Q. and understanding for the game. He is a high character player who does need some work on his pass rush ability but has the chance to be a very solid all-around player with the right coaching. He can be an immediate contributor on early downs. Jenkins will most likely not be available for the team in the third round, but could be at the end of the second.
4) Su'a Cravens, OLB/S - USC: Right off of the bat, Cravens fits the position versatility that the teams looks for to try and slot in multiple places on the field. He is a bit undersized to be playing at outside linebacker (6'1", 226 lbs) but he has room to put on weight and is another intelligent football player. He is not afraid to rush the line or pull back in zone coverage and showed a good eye for the ball (nine interceptions in three years). He can come in and contribute on special teams day one while being able to add size and technique to play outside linebacker better at the next level. Cravens won't be on the board at the end of round three, but he could be a good target at the end of the second round.
5) Kenneth Dixon, RB - Louisiana Tech: Dixon has the right size to play running back effectively despite being under six feet tall (5'10", 215 lbs). He has never shied away from pass protection. He has terrific lateral quickness and explosion especially at the second level of a defense. He has a nose for the end-zone (87 career touchdowns in college) and can catch well out of the backfield. With Belichick drafting Shane Vereen and James White in prior years, it's clear he likes a running back who can catch the ball. Dixon would have the chance to be a three-down running back on day one and could spell both LaGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis early on (if not permanently) as both are coming off season-ending injuries. Dixon most likely would not be available at the end of the third round, but would make for an attractive pick at the end of the second round.
6) Cyrus Jones, CB - Alabama: Belichick has shown an affinity with any Nick Saban coached player (especially from Alabama) in the past, and Bill could be very interested in Jones. The team met with him on more than one occasion and fits a position of need in the near future potentially with both Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan becoming free agents after next season. Jones played safety and cornerback in college, making him another potential versatile player for the Patriots. He is not afraid to attack wide receivers as soon as the play starts and is a highly aggressive cornerback. He is a high character guy and can help in the run game along with coverage. Jones should be available at the end of third round.
7) Jonathan Williams, RB - Arkansas: Williams is indeed a personal favorite of mine, but he met with the team for a private workout earlier this offseason along with at the combine too. Williams had to miss all of last season with a foot injury, but has told me personally that he is 100% healthy following surgery. Williams is able to force missed tackles while being dangerous at the second level of a defense and can play in a physical/power run game well with his size (5'11", 220 lbs). He does have some receiving chops as well and can hold his own in pass protection. Williams will most likely be available at the end of the 3rd round, but that could be a steal if New England gets him there.
8) Leonte Carroo, WR - Rutgers: The Rutgers-Belichick connection here is strong with Carroo, who fits at a position of need down the line. Often overlooked in this decently sized wide receiver class, he has the desired size at 6'0" and 211 lbs. He was the go-to guy in the Rutgers offense and showed he was able to handle being the #1 guy in the pass game. He is used to doing a lot of run blocking and has the moves to get by a corner-back on his routes. Character concerns will arise due to his now dropped assault charges against him and two game suspension for it this past season, but Belichick has proven to take fliers on players with off-field issues before. He probably wouldn't be available at the end of third round, but should be at the end of the second round.
9) Shon Coleman, OT - Auburn: Coleman is clearly a fighter, as he came back from leukemia when he was diagnosed six years ago. It's almost reminiscent of Marcus Cannon and his cancer battle from a few years ago. Coleman has good arm length (35 1/8") and is not afraid to get physical on run plays while developing as a pass protector more. He held his own against Myles Garrett (one of the top defensive ends in college football) and has played on both the left and right side of the offensive line. Coleman won't be on the board by the time the team picks at the end of the third round, but could be at the end of second.
10) Joe Dahl, OG/OT - Washington State: Dahl is another versatile prospect who has played at tackle in college but projects better at guard at the next level. He could be an immediate starter at guard for the Patriots or be a much stronger swing tackle for them than Marcus Cannon or La'Adrian Waddle. He has worked to add size and strength to his frame over the past two seasons and is not afraid to help double team. He also has familiarity with playing in a pass-heavy offense, which the Patriots are. Dahl should be there for the Patriots to select at the end of third round.