While it may not possess the pomp and circumstance of NFL Draft Opening Night (or even Day Two) the third and final day of the NFL Draft is not without its share of significance. Anyone that questions this fact, need only be taken back to 2000. During that Draft, the New England Patriots selected a “lanky, and kind of slow” quarterback from Michigan with the 199th overall selection. Nineteen years (and six championships later) the Patriots and that same quarterback (Tom Brady) are the team to beat in the town that is the National Football League.
The Patriots were certainly active on the third and final day of the 2019 NFL Draft. Here is a look at New England’s Day Three selections:
Hjalte Froholdt, G, Arkansas
Hailing from Denmark, Froholdt is an athletic run-blocker with the quickness, balance and lateral mobility to succeed in the Patriots scheme. He gets set quickly and does a good job of staying in front of his assignment in pass protection. While he has been known to give some ground at the initial point of content, Froholdt is solid, once he is anchored. He will certainly compete for a back-up spot on the offensive line in training camp.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
Make no mistake, Tom Brady is a lock to be the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2019. The six-time Super Bowl Champion continues to play at a high level. However, he will turn 42 in August, and making a selection at quarterback should not be considered blasphemous. Stidham has been ranked as high as a potential second-round choice. Therefore, this pick might yield a significant return on investment.
Stidham has adequate size, good arm strength and above-average mobility. He can fit the ball into tight spots and shows the ability to drive the ball vertically when he has space to step into his throws. He’s accurate and does a great job of leading his receivers to yards after the catch. Stidham will certainly be in the mix to make the roster, competing with Danny Etling and Brian Hoyer.
Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland
Cowart has the ability to play on the inside and outside. He is strong enough to set the edge and flashes the ability to push offensive tackles back into the backfield. Perhaps his greatest strength is his length and upper-body strength to stack blockers. He has decent closing speed, initial quickness and agility. In training camp, look for Cowart to work on his ability to quickly locate the ball.
Jake Bailey, P, Stanford
While many an eyebrow might be raised choosing a punter after re-signing current leg-man (and Super Bowl top performer) Ryan Allen, Bailey possesses the ability to make things interesting in Training Camp. He handled the punting and kickoff duties at Stanford. He gets the ball off quickly and gets good hang time. He connected on 12-of-16 field goal attempts and made three field goals of 50 or more yards (including a 54-yarder) in his senior year of high school. Bailey is the first right-footed punter taken by the Patriots in the Bill Belichick-era.
Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss
Earlier in the week, Webster was identified in “Mike’s Mock” as a possible choice of value in the seventh round. Despite the cornerback position being one of strength for the Pats, they always look to the draft for depth in the secondary. In 2018, Webster totaled 33 tackles, two interceptions and six passes batted. Webster has had some nagging injuries, which has lessened his draft value. However, he did run a 4.43 40-yard at the Combine, which was faster than expected. Webster might compete for a spot on the depth chart, or on special teams.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC