After a sixth Super Bowl title, the New England Patriots head into the 2019 NFL Draft with a dozen selections and more opportunity to strengthen their dynasty.
The New England Patriots capped off 2018 with yet another Super Bowl title and now, as they say, “the rich get richer.”
Following the awarding of compensatory picks, the Pats head into the 2019 NFL Draft with a dozen selections. New England owns five picks across the first three rounds alone, meaning that they have plenty of draft capital to go after who they want come draft day.
As was the case following the 2017 season, many of the Patriots’ long-term questions still remain this offseason. Will Rob Gronkowski retire? Who will be Tom Brady’s eventual successor. With free agency still on the horizon, there is still ample time for those to be answered but, for now, here’s a look at how the Patriots and Bill Belichick could approach the 2019 NFL Draft:
With the future of tight end Rob Gronkowski still up in the air, the Patriots could look to snatch up one of several athletic tight ends to fill his shoes.
Aside from Ole Miss wideout and real-life create-a-player DK Metcalf, perhaps no offensive prospect helped themselves as much at the NFL Combine as Iowa’s Noah Fant. While many coming into the event preferred his Hawkeye teammate TJ Hockenson at the position, Fant posted eye-popping numbers across the board. With a 4.50 40-yard dash, 39.5-inch vertical and blazing 6.81 3-cone, Fant very well may have cemented himself as a first-round prospect.
Fant has all of the size and athletic traits to be a dangerous playmaker at the tight end position in the NFL, even if he didn’t produce as much at the college level as you might expect. When your teammate at the same position is also a bonafide first-rounder, however, that production level is completely understandable.
In order to succeed at the NFL level, he’ll need to prove he can work through tight, physical coverage rather than simply relying on success against free releases but there’s no doubt that Fant could be a top tight end in the NFL within the next several years. Adding him to the Pats roster to help replace Gronk would allow for as seamless of a transition as you could hope for from the future Hall of Famer.