After Dave Portnoy fought back over his Roger Goodell comments, Mike Felger doubled down on his stance that advocating violence against the commissioner is a disgrace.
FOXBORO -- Heading into the opening of the 2017 draft on Thursday, the Patriots had just six selections -- none of which were in the first two rounds. It stood to reason that the team might get creative and find a way to make either more selections or earlier selections. When all was said and done, the opposite had occurred.
The Patriots concluded the draft having made just four selections -- two in the third, one in the fourth and one in the sixth -- in what proved to be the smallest draft class in franchise history.
The Pats’ selections were:
- Youngstown St. DE Derek Rivers, No. 83 overall
- Troy OT Antonio Garcia, No. 85 overall
- Arkansas DE Deatrich Wise, No. 131 overall
- UCLA OT Conor McDermott, No. 211 overall
Amongst other trades, the Pats moved the fifth-round pick they had entering the weekend to Kansas for tight end James O’Shaughnessy. They also traded a seventh-round pick to the Cowboys in order to move up in the sixth round to select McDermott.
During the offseason, the Pats moved first, second and third-round picks in deals that netted them receiver Brandin Cooks and pass-rusher Kony Ealy. The team also surrended a fifth-round pick to the Bills for signing restricted free agent running back Mike Gillislee.
Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said after the draft that he isn't surprised that the team, which has historically placed a high value on draft picks, only picked four players.
"Whoever we end up with, we end up with," Caserio said. "I mean, the draft, whoever we pick -- OK, there's four players there -- we acquired players as a part of trades. They're a part of it; the undrafted players are a part of it, so let's call it, I don't know, 25 to 30 new players that we've sort of added to the team. However they get here, they get here. We can't necessarily control that. We just try to take our resources and try to make the best decision for our team and get the players on the team however we can get them here. That's what we try to do."
Prior to 2017, the Pats’ smallest draft class was in 2002, when the team made six selections. That class also featured higher picks, however, as the team picked in the first round (Daniel Graham) and second (Deion Branch). Rivers’ selection at No. 83 made him the latest into a draft that the Pats had made their first selection.
FOXBORO -- After making just four draft picks this weekend, the Patriots will be loading up on undrafted players to help round out their roster.
The picks of Derek Rivers (third round), Antonio Garcia (third round), Deatrich Wise (fourth round), Conor McDermott (sixth) brought the number on the team's roster to 69. They'll hit 90 before the start of training camp, and the majority of those could end up being undrafted rookies.
We'll track reported undrafted signings in this space and update it as the weekend progresses . . .
Josh Augusta, Missouri, 6-foot-4, 347 pounds (per Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star): While speaking about Alan Branch last season, Bill Belichick said, "Guys that weigh 350 pounds and are athletic and long like he is, I mean they don’t grow on trees. They’re hard to find." Augusta wasn't even considered a starter during his last season at Missouri, but his unique size and quick feet (he was used as a fullback at times by the Tigers) made him an interesting fit late on draft weekend. He weighed closer to 400 pounds last fall, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and has shed weight since, which helped him post a 5.12-second 40 time (which some had clocked as a sub-5.0 time), a 28.5-inch vertical, a 108-inch broad jump and a 7.9-second three-cone at his pro day. Though he only played about 50 percent of his team's snaps the last two seasons, guys like him don't grow on trees. Branch, 32, signed a two-year extension this offseason.