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Trying to guess who the New England Patriots will take in the draft is about as easy as trying to guess the winning Power Ball numbers. Ok, ok, you’d have a better chance with Power Ball, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to try and get inside the mind of Bill Belichick.
While the Patriots have a handful of needs to fill with the draft one position that is flying under the radar is strong safety. This is why University of Louisville safety Calvin Pryor makes sense as the Patriots first pick (29th overall) in the 2014 NFL draft. Classic Belichick. When everyone says go right, he turns left.
Why a safety
The Patriots have released two-year starter Steve Gregory and also parted ways with veteran Adrian Wilson, who never played a single snap for the team. This leaves a big question mark at the strong safety position. Devin McCourty has been successful at free safety and needs a reliable companion to hold down the back end.
After locking up Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in free agency, cornerbacks are no longer a concern. Adding a strong safety would allow the Patriots to keep Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan at corner to provide some much needed depth in a pass-happy league.
According to NFL.com Pryor is described as, “A big physical, hammering run defender brings an enforcer mentality to the box and an intimidating, punishing presence to the back end.” This is exactly the type of personality the secondary has lacked since the departure of Rodney Harrison. Pryor is the type of player that will make receivers think twice about crossing the middle.
Although is he smaller in stature at 5’11 and 207 pounds, Pryor is considered as the number one overall safety in the draft, interchangeable with Alabama’s Haha Clinton-Dix depending on who you ask. Pryor is deemed the bigger hitter but is a little stiff in the passing game which can help receivers to gain separation. However, he is noted for having very good ball skills and the good hands to match.
With a physical mentality combined with great ball skills, Pryor is exactly the type of player that could contribute right away and is worthy of a first round selection.
Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Adrian Wilson, alfonzo dennard, Bill Belichick, Brandon Browner, Calvin Pryor, Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty, Haha Clinton-Dix, Logan Ryan, New England Patriots, Rodney Harrison, Steve Gregory, University of Louisville