Patriots' 2012 draft class on rise

January, 25, 2013
1/25/13
9:15
AM ET
The evaluation process for rookie classes is fluid; it can take years for players to develop, while others make immediate contributions.

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. submitted initial grades for each team following the draft last April, and has done so again now that the 2012 season is over for all but two teams.

In his second glance at the Patriots' seven-man draft class, Kiper feels better today than he did back in April, as he gives the Patriots’ rookies a B-plus for their contributions during the 2012 season. That’s up from an initial judgment of a B-minus.

He cites the value of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard in the seventh round, as well as the needs filled by both Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower.

To see all of Kiper’s updated grades (Insider content), CLICK HERE.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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