The Patriots entered the day with the 11th and 31st pick of the second round. Through a series of trades, the Patriots ultimately made the 24th pick of the round, 56th overall. With that pick, the Patriots selected defensive back, Duke Dawson from Florida.
— Full Press NFL (@FPC_NFL) April 28, 2018
Dawson was a four-year player at Florida where he had his best season last year. During his senior season, Dawson racked up 34 total tackles, four interceptions, and one touchdown. In addition, he was credited with nine passes defended.
Coming in at five-foot-ten, 208 pounds, Dawson is projected as a slot corner with his ability to play press coverage his main strength. His draft profile touts him as an intelligent football player with great instincts who is eager to help in run defense. Despite not being the fastest corner he covers underneath routes well and can smother receivers if allowed to be physical.
After selecting two offensive players with their first round picks, the Patriots were eventually going to turn to the defensive side. After losing Malcolm Butler to the Titans in the offseason, cornerback help was certaintly on the table. Even with the signing of Jason McCourty in the offseason and the presumed return of former second-round pick, Cyrus Jones. Dawson will have a chance to compete for time behind Stephon Gilmore, McCourty, Eric Rowe, and Jonathon Jones. Given his limitations covering faster receivers, he will likely see a lot of his time in the slot and middle of the field.