Former Patriots player gushes over defending champs' 2019 NFL Draft class


Experts have been handing out high grades to the New England Patriots after they finalized their 10-player class from the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday.

Former Patriots center Damien Woody, who won two Super Bowl titles in New England, is among the group of experts praising Bill Belichick for the talent he added to the defending champions' roster this weekend.

“I really love what the Patriots did," Woody said Monday on ESPN's SportsCenter. "They had a plethora of picks, and they picked players from all different positions, starting off with N’Keal Harry, wide receiver. This is the first wide receiver in the first round under the Bill Belichick era. He has never done this before. But this is a guy who’s a big receiver, a guy who can high-point the ball. The Patriots really haven’t had a guy like this since Randy Moss. He’s not Randy Moss as far as speed, but he is as far as height and run-after-catch abilities. They needed a guy outside the numbers. Obviously you got Chase Winovich, a guy who was uber-productive at Michigan, who was actually more productive than the guy who got drafted much higher than him, Rashan Gary, who went to the Green Bay Packers at No. 12. He’s like the perfect Patriots pick in the third round.”

One of the most underrated draft picks for the Patriots could be Alabama running back Damien Harris, who New England selected in the third round (87th overall). Harris ran for 876 yards (5.8 per carry) and nine touchdowns as a senior for the Crimson Tide last season. His addition, along with the presence of veterans James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden and sophomore Sony Michel gives the Patriots tremendous depth at running back.

"We saw last year what the Patriots were doing. The Patriots were basically grounding and pounding, especially in the postseason," Woody said. "(Harris) is another guy you add into the mix to complement Sony Michel in the backfield."

The Patriots still have question marks on their roster, most notably at tight end, but the process of building a strong team for next season got off to a great start with the 2019 draft.

Click here for Tom E. Curran's grades for every Patriots draft pick>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Contact Us