ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper assesses the Patriots' draft in a piece now posted on ESPN.com (Insider content), and he's tough on the team in two areas:
1. He feels the selections of running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley were reaches.
2. He feels it's a mistake that the team didn't invest in a pass-rusher.
"They got so little in terms of a pass rush from a quartet of linebackers last season, and this is a team that passed on Clay Matthews two years ago," Kiper writes. "Where is the pass rush help? But, as always, the Patriots will have plenty of chances to plug holes again next year. I just think for a team in line for another Super Bowl run, that was a need worth targeting."
As part of the piece, Kiper assigns a grade to each team's draft. The Patriots get a C-plus.