FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For the first time in franchise history, the New England Patriots finished a draft without making a pick in either the first or second round.
New England made its first selection at No. 83 overall in the third round. Overall, thanks to a trade-filled off-season and draft weekend, head coach Bill Belichick's team made a franchise-record low four selections in the draft, two fewer than the previous low of six in 2002.
It's also the fewest picks made by a defending Super Bowl champion in the common draft era. And none of the four picks came in New England's original, assigned draft spot.
From Belichick's perspective, the players acquired in trades for choices in this draft should be included in the analysis. The Patriots made deals with New Orleans for wide receiver Brandin Cooks, with Carolina for defensive end Kony Ealy, with Indianapolis for tight end Dwayne Allen and with Kansas City during the draft for another tight end, James O'Shaughnessy.
Round 3/83 - Derek Rivers, DE, 6-4, 248, Youngstown State
Rivers checks off all the boxes for an edge player in New England at 6-foot-4 and running a 4.6 40. He succeeded on the edge of the Youngstown front with 36 combined sacks over the last three seasons. He fills the biggest need on the very deep Patriots roster and should compete for rotational reps as a rookie.
Round 3/85 - Antonio Garcia, T, 6-6, 302, Troy
Garcia is an athletic pass protector who plays with a true nasty streak and did not allow a sack as a senior. He's seen primarily as a left tackle, a spot held down by veteran former first-round pick Nate Solder, who is entering the final year of his contract.
Round 4/131 - Deatrich Wise Jr., DE, 6-5, 271, Arkansas
New England emphasized the need to add pass rushers and active defensive linemen with the pick of Wise. He's a bigger, more powerful player who could work as a sub rusher and will be in the mix for a roster spot if he can prove his youthful versatility.
Round 6/211 - Conor McDermott, T, 6-8, 307, UCLA
After snagging a developmental left tackle in Garcia, New England nabbed McDermott, whose future is likely on the right side. He's a former basketball player still growing into his frame, but offers some upside for New England offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to work with. McDermott may have a tough time making the Patriots' roster as a rookie.