I'm fine with Easley as the first pick, but in my opinion the Patriots missed a golden opportunity with their 2nd pick (#62) for the player who I think will exceed all expectations in the NFL.
My belief is that Jimmy Garoppolo would have still been on the board in the 3rd round and if the Patriots were looking to bolster their running game, which they obviously were with their selection of James White in the 4th round, they could have and I believe should have taken Tre Mason, Auburn, with pick #62. Mason subsequently went to the Rams with pick #75.
I've seen this kid play, and he is definitely a 'keeper' and quite a few teams besides the PATS will rue the day that they passed over him in the draft.
Mason played in 12 games as a true freshman for Auburn in '11, rushing 28 times for 166 yards (5.9-yard average) and one touchdown while returning 24 kickoffs for 633 yards (26.4) and one touchdown. Led the SEC in kickoff return average. Won the kickoff return job in camp and scored on a 97-yard scamper in his collegiate debut.
After seeing limited action down the stretch, including losing his job as the kick returner, he was forced into a prominent role in the Chick-fil-A Bowl after starter Michael Dyer was suspended -- Mason responded with a 9-64-1 performance against Virginia.
Had a much larger role in '12, splitting time at running back and rushing 171-1,002-8 (5.9) and catching 7-86-0 (12.3) in 12 games (five starts). Was the first non-QB to lead Auburn in total offense since Bo Jackson in 1985. Had a breakout campaign in '13, piling up 317-1,816-23 (5.7) on the ground, 12-163-1 (13.6) receiving and 15-395-1 (26.3) returning kickoffs in 14 games (12 starts). Was a Heisman Trophy finalist, breaking Bo Jackson's single-season school mark with his SEC-high rushing yardage total. Also set school single-season records for all-purpose yards (2,374) and rushing touchdowns in winning SEC Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Over Auburn's final three games against Alabama, Missouri and Florida State, he racked up 663 yards on the ground -- including a memorable 46-304-4 affair against Mizzou in the SEC Championship Game. Followed up that performance with 195 rushing yards vs. Florida State, the most ever for a running back in a BCS Championship Game.