Round 4, Pick 121: Jack Jones, CB, Arizona St
I had a 6th-7th round grade on Jack Jones, so to put it simply, I wasn’t a fan of this pick. The upside simply isn’t there with Jones, and he lacks the traits to provide immediate depth to a needy cornerback room like New England’s. He can run the man coverage he will be asked to in the Patriots’ system, but to take Jones over a corner like Zyon McCollum, who was still on the board, is mind-boggling to me.
Round 4, Pick 127: Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota St
I think if Pierre Strong can get on the field, the Patriots will be more than happy to have him. He was my RB3 with a 3rd round grade and is a really good player to get in the back end of the 4th round. The issue, like I mentioned, will be getting the opportunity to play.
However, I do believe there’s a scenario in which New England lets Damien Harris walk following the 2022 season. From there, Rhamondre Stevenson and Strong could provide a formidable two-headed backfield for the Patriots for years to come.
Round 4, Pick 137: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky
In theory, taking a good backup quarterback, on a cheap rookie contract, at the end of the 4th round seems like good process. But why wouldn’t Belichick take a swing on Sam Howell in this spot? Howell can provide everything Zappe can, plus the potential to show enough upside for the Patriots to flip him for value in the future. I think the process here was fine, but taking Zappe over a guy who can provide real value in the future just doesn’t do it for me.