The Patriots selected Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers with their first pick in the draft. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots selected Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers with their first pick in the draft. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — Day 2 of the NFL draft has come and gone and the Patriots made two trades.

New England made one trade to move down and then another to move up. The Patriots traded out of pick No. 72 with the Titans to pick at No. 83 where they selected defensive end Derek Rivers, and then traded up to No. 85 overall with the Lions to select offensive tackle Antonio Garcia.

With so few needs, the Patriots were able to be very specific with what they wanted and moved up and down the draft board accordingly.

Rivers played at FCS Youngstown State so there is some question of how his play will do against better competition, but he did have a good week at the Senior Bowl against Division 1 competition. This past season was his best as he finished with 58 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss and 15 sacks. He is also the school’s all-time leading sack leader, having 19 more than the second-highest player.

An edge rusher was at the top of their list of needs, and were able to address it with their first pick. The defensive end has a lot of power when getting off the line, but needs some work in stopping the run. He likely will get some playing time as the fourth edge rusher in the defensive end rotation, but his biggest impact will be come the road.

The selection of Garcia is certainly for the future, as he has some things to work on.

At 6-foot-6, 302 pounds he is very athletic, but many think he needs to add weight and improve on his technique to have success in the NFL. It would appear 2017 will be a red-shirt year of sorts for Garcia and give him time to work with offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to potentially be Nate Solder’s replacement at left tackle. One thing to keep in mind is Garcia has the ability to flip over to the right side of the line if necessary, which the Patriots value in their tackles.

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Day 3, the Patriots don’t have any glaring needs with their three draft picks. They will have one fourth, one fifth and one seventh.

New England will have the 25th selection in Round 4 (No. 131 overall) as its first pick and perhaps if tight end Jake Butt is still around the Patriots would take him. Many had him pegged to them in the third round, so if he’s available in the fourth it would be a no brainer.

Other positions to keep an eye on are linebacker, safety and cornerback.

While the players selected on Friday weren’t the biggest of names and at skill positions, they did fill the biggest teams on the roster which would make Day 2 of the draft a success — at least on paper.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — One of the biggest storylines with the Patriots in the 2017 NFL draft was whether or not they would trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Bill Belichick wasn't in the mood to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Bill Belichick wasn’t in the mood to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — One of the biggest storylines with the Patriots in the 2017 NFL draft was whether or not they would trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

Despite reported multiple attempts by the Browns, the Patriots held on to their backup quarterback. Cleveland ultimately selected quarterback DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame in the second round.

Speaking after selecting two players in the third round, Bill Belichick was asked about other team’s interest in Garoppolo.

The coach predictably wasn’t feeling it.

“I mean, I’m happy to talk about the guys we picked,” he said. “I’m not going to get into any of that. We’re going to go forward with the team that we have. We’ve added two players today. We’ll add some more tomorrow. However many it is, however it goes, and we’ll go out there and compete and put the best team we can on the field.”

So because of this, should we count on Garoppolo being on the roster in 2017?

“I’m not going to comment on anybody,” Belichick said. “Look, everybody that’s on the team is here to compete and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Even though Belichick wouldn’t admit it, it’s almost certain Garoppolo will be on the 2017 roster and potentially beyond.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
The Patriots will have three picks on Day 3 of the NFL draft. (Rob Foldy/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots will have three picks on Day 3 of the NFL draft. (Rob Foldy/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots made two trades on Friday night in the third round of the NFL draft, which shook up their draft board.

They did make two picks by selecting defensive end Derek Rivers out of Youngstown State at No. 83 overall and then offensive tackle Antonio Garcia out of Troy at No. 85.

These trades were not a surprise given Bill Belichick has made at least one draft day trade in each year as head coach except one (2004).

Following the deals, here are the remaining Patriots picks for Day 3.

Round 4 – No. 131 overall
Round 5 – No. 183 overall
Round 6 – None
Round 7 – No. 239 overall

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots made their second pick of the third round quicker than expected, as after making a pick at No. 83 overall they traded with the Lions to move up and pick No. 85 overall.

They gave up picks No. 96 and 124 in order to do so.

The Patriots traded up to select Troy OT Antonio Garcia. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots traded up to select Troy OT Antonio Garcia. (Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — The Patriots made their second pick of the third round quicker than expected, as after making a pick at No. 83 overall they traded with the Lions to move up and pick No. 85 overall.

They gave up picks No. 96 and 124 in order to do so.

With that pick they selected offensive tackle Antonio Garcia out of Troy.

1. Garcia was a four-year starter at Troy, improving in each of his four seasons. He didn’t start the 2016 season opener, but started the final 12 games and earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors. He was invited to the Senior Bowl.

2. The Patriots reportedly had him in for a visit and must have liked what they saw. At 6-foot-6, 302 pounds he is very athletic, but many think he needs to add weight and improve on his technique to have success in the NFL.

3. This seems like a pick more for the future as Dante’ Scarnecchia can work with him for a season or two before the team really needs him to contribute. While it is down the road, he could be Nate Solder’s replacement.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — After trading out of No. 72 overall with the Titans, the Patriots made their first pick of the draft at No. 82 overall.

With that pick they selected defensive end Derek Rivers out of Youngstown State.

The Patriots selected Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

The Patriots selected Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

FOXBORO — After trading out of No. 72 overall with the Titans, the Patriots made their first pick of the draft at No. 82 overall.

With that pick they selected defensive end Derek Rivers out of Youngstown State.

1. Rivers didn’t have the SAT scores to play NCAA college football out of high school so he enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy for the 2012 season. He started as a sophomore in 2014 and earned First Team All-MVFC honors. His best season came this past season when he finished with 58 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. His team lost in the FCS National title game to James Madison.

2. The defensive end has long arms and was able to get around the edge very easily. It will be interesting to see how his skills translate to the NFL after playing FCS. Athletic genes run in his family as his father played basketball and football at Virginia Tech.

3. Rivers holds the school record for sacks 51, which is 19 more than the second-highest total. The one weakness in his game is stoping the run.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — After not having a pick until the third round and No. 72 overall, the Patriots made their fans wait even more.

New England gets picks No. 83 (third round) and 124 (fourth round) from Titans in exchange for No. 72 and No. 200.

The Patriots now have two thirds, two fourths, a fifth, and a seventh.

FOXBORO — After not having a pick until the third round and No. 72 overall, the Patriots made their fans wait even more.

New England gets picks No. 83 (third round) and 124 (fourth round) from Titans in exchange for No. 72 and No. 200.

The Patriots now have two thirds, two fourths, a fifth, and a seventh.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable