Biggest post-draft questions still to be answered by the New England Patriots:
What player stands out from the undrafted class? The Patriots have traditionally had at least one undrafted free agent make their roster each year, with cornerback Malcolm Butler, center David Andrews and cornerback Jonathan Jones a few recent examples. This year's class is expected to be as large as 15-20 players, as the team has 20 spots to fill. Between media reports, player tweets, college announcements and agent announcements, here is a preliminary list of some players who have agreed to terms and/or have tryouts with New England: Missouri DT Josh Augusta (per Kansas City Star); Vanderbilt DT Adam Butler (Providence Journal); Northwestern WR Austin Carr (college tweet); Iowa running back LeShun Daniels Jr. (player tweet); Arkansas WR Cody Hollister (player tweet); Wyoming TE Jacob Hollister (player tweet); Richmond DB David Jones (per Tampa Times); Central Florida cornerback D.J. Killings (ESPN), Purdue guard Jason King (player tweet); BYU LB Harvey Langi (Providence Journal); Valdosta State CB Kenny Moore (Boston Herald); Utah safety Jason Thompson (Salt Lake Tribune); Minnesota safety Damarius Travis; Tennessee DE Corey Vereen (agent tweet); Iowa OT Cole Croston (family tweet); Harvard OT Max Rich (agent tweet); and LSU cornerback Dwayne Thomas (player tweet). Of the initial group, Langi is arguably the highest-touted prospect.
Any veteran signings on the horizon? With just four draft picks, perhaps it opens the door to sign a veteran free agent, with cornerback Jason McCourty, linebacker Dan Skuta and center/guard Brandon Fusco among those with whom the club has been linked. This was already a competitive roster entering the draft, with few noticeable holes outside out of defensive end. A player like Fusco, for example, could add a layer of experience/competition at center that might be desirable to the Patriots depending on how his visit with the club went last week.
Will Nate Solder still be with the team in 2018? The Patriots traded up for two left tackles in the draft, selecting Troy's Antonio Garcia in the third round and UCLA's Conor McDermott in the sixth round. To land those players, the club used four picks -- two to select them, and two as trade chips (fourth and seventh rounders) -- which is significant given the annual value the club puts on picks. What does it mean? Starting left tackle Solder enters the final year of his contract in 2017, and proactive moves like the Patriots made in the draft appear to be contingency plans for 2018 if they can't re-sign Solder.