The New England Patriots entered the first round of the NFL Draft looking like a team in desperate need of defensive help. With the memories of the Philadelphia Eagles offense scoring at will in Super Bowl LII still fresh in the minds of Patriots Nation, the secondary, pass rush and linebacking crew looks to be areas of immediate need. Truth be told, the Patriots will most likely address those needs. They just didn’t do that on Thursday.
Instead, the Patriots selected two players that will bolster their offense, and will certainly turn some heads doing so, in the process:
Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn (No. 23 overall)
Georgia RB Sony Michel (No. 31 overall).
With the loss of Nate Solder to free agency, the Patriots’ had a need for offensive line help, especially at left tackle. If Wynn ultimately fills that void, this will be a pick in which top talent meets a top need. There are not many sub-6-foot-3 tackles in the NFL. But Wynn’s length and athleticism allowed him to excel at the position with the Bulldogs. There’s no reason to think he can’t be a solid player there in the NFL. He also plays with a nasty streak, which had to catch the eye of Bill Belichick and Dante Scarnecchia. Just another four-year, high-character player for Bill Belichick. Wynn told reporters in New England he underwent surgery on his labrum in January but said Thursday night he believes he will be ready for June’s minicamp.
Wynn’s Georgia teammate, Sony Michel appears to be the type of running back Belichick loves. He has amazing flexibility in his lower legs and ankles, which allows him to execute impressive cuts at any point in his run. He was an accomplished runner at Georgia and has the downfield speed to hit the big play. Michel has the versatility to be a star in the Patriots’ system, working as a receiver and slashing through defenses as a runner. They needed to replace Dion Lewis, so they did. Michel looks to be an exciting addition to the Patriots offense for 2018 and beyond.
Day 1 grade: B+
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC