FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots selected five players and made three trades on the final day of the NFL Draft Saturday.
In the fourth round, New England drafted Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham at No. 133 and an interior offensive lineman, Hjalte Froholdt, with the No. 118 overall pick. The Patriots traded up twice in the fifth round, picking Maryland defensive lineman Byron Cowart at No. 159 and Stanford punter Jake Bailey at No. 163.
New England made a trade in the fourth round that led to landing Cowart and Bailey: The club sent pick Nos. 134 and 243 (seventh) to the Rams for Nos. 162 and 167. The Patriots then sent Nos. 162 and 239 (seventh round) to Minnesota in the trade that landed Cowart, and dealt Nos. 167 and 246 (seventh round) to Philadelphia to select Bailey.
The Patriots’ final pick of the draft was a cornerback with springs in his shoes, Ken Webster out of Ole Miss. New England chose Webster in the seventh round with the No. 252 overall pick.
Here is a look at each of the five players:
Round 4, Pick 118: Arkansas OL Hjalte Froholdt (6-5, 306): Hailing from Denmark and started playing football competitively at IMG Academy in Florida. (His name is pronounced Yell-duh Fro-holt.) He was originally recruited to college as a defensive lineman by former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who is currently a coaching consultant with the Patriots, but switched sides in his sophomore year. He wound up starting all 13 games at left guard that year, and also started all 12 games at left guard his junior season. Froholdt played three games at center and nine at guard his senior year for the Razorbacks and never gave up a sack. Some of his most impressive film came against Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, who was chosen third overall by the Jets.
He’s a good fit for the Patriots’ athletic standards for interior linemen. Froholdt had a vertical of 27.5 inches, just shy of left guard Joe Thuney’s mark in 2016. You will hear concerns about Froholdt having short arms — 31¼ inches according to his combine measurements — but keep in mind the Patriots don’t really care.
“I think that [expletive] is way overrated,” offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said last year.
He’ll compete with Ted Karras for a backup spot on the interior, but could be groomed as a possible replacement for Thuney, who will be a free agent next year.
I'm told by a source close to Froholdt that the Patriots see him as a center first, and a guard second. Puts Ted Karras in trouble as the backup center— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 27, 2019
Round 4, Pick 133: Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham (6-2, 218): Stidham, 22, began his college career at Baylor but transferred to Auburn in 2016 in the wake of Art Briles’s firing. At Auburn, he posted his best season as a junior in 2017, when he completed 66.5 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions, earning second-team All-SEC honors along the way. He was predicted to be a top draft pick, but regressed as a senior in 2018. Auburn went 8-5 (3-5 in the SEC) with Stidham playing behind a leaky offensive line and in a system that didn’t seem to fit his skillset. One thing he talked with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels about was knowing that he’d chosen to run and leave the pocket at times when he shouldn’t have in 2018.
Jarrett Stidham continues a couple Patriots drafting trends.— Nora Princiotti (@NoraPrinciotti) April 27, 2019
* He's accurate and protects the football. 36-to-11 TD-INT ratio over past two seasons, went 162 passes without an INT in 2018.
* He was a team captain.
Round 5, Pick 159: Maryland DL Byron Cowart (6-3, 298): A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Cowart underperformed at Auburn and wound up transferring to Maryland. He had 10 sacks over the last two seasons rushing from the interior. He was also a team captain for the Terrapins this past year, something the Patriots look for. He met with New England representatives at the Senior Bowl this year. Cowart is similar physcially to current Patriots defensive tackle Lawrence Guy. He projects as an interior rusher in the NFL. Defensive line was an area of need for New England following the free agency departures of Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton.
Round 5, Pick 163: Stanford P Jake Bailey (6-2, 202): A right-footed punter, Bailey finished his Stanford career as the program’s all-time leader in punting average (43.81) and holds the record for longest punt in program history (84 yards). As a senior last season, he was an All-Pac-12 second-team selection, averaged 44.06 yards per punt, pinned 24 inside the 20-yard line, and recorded 20 punts of 50 yards or more. He also handled kickoff duties, with 60 of 72 going for touchbacks. It’s atypical for most teams to spend a pick on a punter, but the Patriots have a track record of picking specialists in the fifth round. Special teams captain Matthew Slater went there in 2008, as did punter Zoltan Mesko in 2010 and long snapper Joe Cardona in 2015.
Round 7, Pick 252: Mississippi cornerback Ken Webster (5-11, 203): Webster is a good athlete with a few knocks against him. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and had a 43-inch vertical jump, that height the best among defensive backs at the Combine. Webster hasn’t been the same player since he tore multiple ligaments in his knee in 2016, though, and was also arrested for shoplifting while at Ole Miss in 2017. Webster is joining one of the strongest and deepest position groups the Patriots have, so his chances at the roster are slim and would likely come through special teams.
New England’s picks through three rounds:
Round 1, Pick 32: WR N’Keal Harry
Round 2, Pick 45: CB Joejuan Williams
Round 3, Pick 77: DL/LB Chase Winovich
Round 3, Pick 87: RB Damien Harris
Round 3, Pick 101: OL Yodny Cajuste
More NFL Draft coverage:
Material from First Level Media was used in this report.