The New England Patriots hold the No. 32 overall pick in the NFL Draft after winning another Super Bowl, and are looking to draft several young players that can help them repeat next season. With the draft fast approaching, here are all the latest Patriots rumors you need to know from Chat Sports.
Patriots targeting Bucky Hodges?
There's a good chance that New England won't be able to re-sign tight end Martellus Bennett, but they may be able to find another talented tight end in the draft. According to Cover 32's Ian Glendon, the Patriots should be targeting Virginia Tech's Bucky Hodges in the middle rounds.
There is a lot to like about Bucky Hodges. His size and speed for one but also his understanding of offensive schemes from a quarterbacks stand point. What sticks out too is his ability to play all over the field. Versatility, as we all know, is greatly valued by Bill Belichick and his coaching staff. Belichick will never put a player in a position where he is asked to do something he can’t so they would certainly play to Bucky Hodges strengths, but the more he can do the better and he looks to have that skill set.
He looks as though he could be a very good complimentary target to Rob Gronkowski as he too is a red zone mismatch. Bucky Hodges will have to improve his blocking, something he can do over time with good coaching, but he will have to be prepared to step up to the plate if/when Rob Gronkowski misses some time.
Hodges, a converted quarterback, has only played three seasons at tight end, but has immense potential due to his size and athleticism. The 6-foot-7, 245-pounder caught 48 balls for 691 yards and seven touchdowns last season.
Christian McCaffrey a "perfect fit" for Patriots
One name that has been heavily linked to New England in the first round is Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said that the Patriots would be "perfect landing spot" for McCaffrey.
“I would be surprised if he lasted that long, but I am in 100 percent agreement with you,” Mayock said when asked about the scenario on a conference call. “The NFL’s become a matchup league, and Christian McCaffrey is a matchup player. You can line him up anywhere: the I, slot, all the way out wide, sidecar to QB, he becomes a chess piece for a smart offensive mind. He will run 4.5 (40-yard dash) or better, and I’ve never seen him get caught from behind. He’s going to be a very good NFL player.”
McCaffrey rushed for 1,603 yards and 13 touchdowns on 253 carries in 2016. Last year, as a sophomore. McCaffrey set the NCAA record for most all-purpose yards in a single season (3,496 yards) and rushed for over 2,000 yards.
New England awarded two compensatory picks
The Patriots will also get some additional depth in their draft, as they have gotten two compensatory draft picks. They received a third-round pick (103rd overall) from the Browns in the Jamie Collins trade, and were awarded a fifth-round compensatory selection (183rd overall) after losing Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson in free agency.