By: Ryan Cooley
Patriots current draft picks:
Round 1, No. 23 overall
Round 3, No. 87 overall
Round 3, No. 98 overall
Round 3, No. 100 overall
Round 4, No. 125 overall
Round 5, No. 172 overall
Round 6, No. 195 overall
Round 6, No. 204 overall
Round 6, No. 212 overall
Round 6, No. 213 overall
Round 7, No. 230 overall
Round 7, No. 241 overall
Most mock drafts have the Patriots taking a LB with the 23rd overall pick. It is always difficult to know what Belichick will do, but a LB is a real option for their first pick. With Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy gone, Bill may want to fill this hole.
Wisconsin’s Zach Baun is my first choice for them at this position. I believe he would be a good fit in New England’s system, and he received an 89.7-grade from Pro Football Focus.
This a huge need for the Patriots. The WRs last season struggled immensely to separate. Luckily for New England, this draft class has plenty to pick from. I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a WR in the first round again this year.
The Patriots need a speedy WR that can make plays. Harry, Edelman, and Sanu are not burners. Adding a receiver that can take the top off a defense would be huge. Look for Jalen Reagor from TCU to be on their radar.
Gronk’s absence last season was felt. Brady had no big security blanket to go to. I expect a TE’s name to be called at some point in the third-round for New England. Brycen Hopkins is my #1 TE, and I think he would be a good fit in New England.
Many have Washington’s Hunter Bryant as the TE1, but he is not much of a blocker, and I am not sure Belichick will want to take a TE that doesn’t get his hands dirty.
The Brady era in New England is officially over. Jarrett Stidham was taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft and looks to be the week one starter. Belichick seems to have a lot of confidence in him. However, this does not mean Bill won’t pull the trigger on a QB. If Herbert or Tua falls on night one, do not be surprised if they move up to snag them.
Reports have said that the Patriots are “in love” with Justin Herbert.
Look for New England to take a kicker later in the draft. Stephen Gostkowski was cut this offseason, and Bill may want to draft one. I believe they could potentially take one as early as the fifth round.
My #1 kicker is Georgia’s, Rodrigo Blankenship. He was very efficient, kicking around 82% the past two seasons. He also has experience playing in big games. Blankenship went 3/3 on field goals, including a 51 yarder in overtime during the National Championship in 2017.