Patriots Make Two Selections On Second Day Of NFL Draft
Saturday, May 02, 2015
The New England Patriots entered the second day of the NFL Draft with three picks — picks 64, 96 and 97. With those picks, they selected two players — Jordan Richard from Stanford at 64 and Geneo Grissom from Oklahoma at 97. The Patriots traded the 96th overall selection to the Cleveland Browns in a trade that sent the 96th and 219th pick to Cleveland in exchange for picks 111,147 and 202.
Breaking Down The Richards Pick
The Patriots surprised nearly everyone watching the NFL Draft when they selected Stanford safety Jordan Richards with the 64th pick. Richards is a 5-11, 211-pound safety that was a three-year starter for Stanford.
Richards played in 55 games with 247 career tackles. He intercepted nine career passes and defended 24 more while forcing five fumbles. Richards is looked at as a likely special teams player early in his career, with a need to grow into the NFL game.
“I got to play a fair amount of teams kind of throughout my career,” he said when asked about his time on special teams. “The amount of snaps I got varied year to year, but it’s something that I take really seriously and if you want play football, especially at this level, you better contribute somehow on special teams. So I’m juiced; I’m ready for it.”
That willingness and ability on special teams was something that caught the eye of Bill Belichick and his staff.
Belichick also took note on Richards’ versatility on the defensive side of the ball. “He played both strong safety and free safety,” Belichick said. “Been a real productive guy for them.”
Richards is not only a versatile player, but has ties to the New England area. His father is a Massachusetts native who played on the Tufts football team from 1975-79. Despite that, Richards will be making his first visit to Massachusetts. “I do still have family out there and no, he’s never taken me out there so finally I’ll get to go,” Richards said when asked about coming to his new home.
The Patriots had an interesting situation late in the 3rd round, selecting at both 96 and 97. Bill Belichick appeared to be uneasy about the situation in his Thursday press conference, and eventually sent the 96th pick to the Cleveland Browns.
The trade saw New England send the 96 and 219th pick to Cleveland in exchange for picks 111,147 and 202. With those selections, the Patriots now hold seven selections in the final day of the draft. Bill Belichick seemed extremely happy with the situation, noting that the picks were evenly spaced and gave them solid options for Saturday.
Bringing In Grissom
With the 97th selection of the draft, the Patriots selected Geneo Grissom from Oklahoma. Grissom has been viewed as a player with “no position” as he played defensive end, outside linebacker and tight end at Oklahoma.
While some evaluate Grissom that way, Bill Belichick noted that Grissom does have a home position, but has great versatility and can play almost anywhere on the field. “He played 4-technique, actually 4I in 2013,” Belichick said when asked about where Grissom might play. “So he was way undersized, but he competed well. They didn’t knock him off the line of scrimmage. It’s not like he looked like a linebacker in there.”
“Both last year and this year, on 3rd down, he played end.and then bumped inside to play inside rusher.”
Grissom is a disruptive player who provides a solid pass rushing option. He plays much stronger than his 260-pound frame, something that was noted by Belichick.