The 2021 NFL Draft was a vital event in a post-Tom Brady world for the New England Patriots. The team selected their quarterback of the future in Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. After Jones’ rookie performance it looks like New England is set at the most important position in sports for the foreseeable future.
The Patriots undoubtedly will look to capitalize on the advantage of having a high performing quarterback on his rookie salary for the next three seasons. This should allow them to splurge in free agency or trade acquisitions as they look to fill the roster around Mac.
To fully reach this team’s potential though, they have to keep hitting on draft picks. It’s well-known the Patriots’ draft results from 2017-2020 were underwhelming. They hit big time in 2021 on Jones, but also defensive lineman Christian Barmore and running back Rhamondre Stevenson look to be key players for seasons to come.
The 2022 Draft needs to be just as successful, or better, for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to return to the first class of the NFL.
With this draft being so essential to the team’s long-term plans we will be doing a series of Mock Drafts leading up to when the picks count for real on April 28th. Mock Draft 1.0 saw the Pats going LB in the first.
These mock drafts will be done using Pro Football Mock Draft Simulator, and players will be selected where they are available regardless of where they might be going in other sites’ mocks.
Patriots trade #21 (1st), #127 (4th) & #170 (5th) to the Lions for #32 (1st), #66 (3rd), #97 (3rd) & #181 (6th)
This draft is said to be very strong in rounds 2 through 4. The Patriots roster could really use an infusion of young talent to grow with last year’s draft class. The trade felt too good to pass up.
Patriots trade #32 (1st), #66 (3rd) & #210 (6th) to the Bears for #39 (2nd), #48 (2nd), & #148 (5th)
Right back at it. This time, the Patriots are using the Bears desire to draft a prospect in the first and get the opportunity to keep the player with a 5th year option. New England moves down 7 slots with their top pick, but the extra picks included make it worth it.
Second Round, Pick #39 = Leo Chenal / LB / Wisconsin
Chenal could fill the hole that will likely be left by Dont’a Hightower’s departure from the team. But even if Hightower resigns, Chenal represents a dynamic talent at the position that will be needed in the near future. The Patriots have been resistant to join in the league-wide shift to smaller sized ILBs, and Chenal’s build will allow them to continue rolling with the size they covet at LB.
Patriots trade #48 (2nd) & #181 (6th) to the Cardinals for #55 (2nd) & #87 (3rd)
Move down 7 slots to then turn a 6th into a 3rd? No brainer.
Second Round, Pick #54 = Drake Jackson / EDGE / USC
The Patriots’ pass rush badly needed a complement to Matthew Judon last season. Jackson provides the size they want at Edge, and also the pass rush ability.
Second Round, Pick #55 = Jamaree Salyer / G / Georgia
The trade of Shaq Mason and free agent departure of Ted Karras leaves two guard spots open on the Patriots offensive line. Michael Onwenu will likely man one of these spots, especially now that Trent Brown is back. The pick of Salyer, a standout tackle who likely will translate to the interior in the NFL, solves this need.
Third Round, Pick #85 = Khalil Shakir / WR / Boise State
Alabama slot receiver, and friend of Mac Jones, John Metchie III went five picks earlier in this mock. On draft day the Patriots might see that writing on the wall and move up. However, if they stay put Shakir is a fine consolation prize in the slot. “Shakir possesses the explosiveness to gear up quickly after catches and cuts. He has great twitch and suddenness as an athlete.” That’s exactly the type of prospect the New England offense needs.
Patriots trade #87 (3rd) & #200 (6th) to the Bills for #89 (3rd) & #130 (4th)
Move two slots down to move up 70 slots later.
Third Round, Pick #89 = Darrian Beavers / LB / Cincinnati
Another linebacker? Yes, that’s how good the value is here for Beavers. Also, the Patriots run a 3-4 defense and their pipeline is not filled with sure things at the position. At 6’4” 250+ lbs, Beavers is yet another prototypical Patriots sized LB.
Patriots trade #97 (3rd) & #148 (5th) to the Browns for #99 (3rd) & #118 (4th)
Move down two slots to move up 30. This is the last trade but results in the Patriots having 8 picks in the top 130. Pretty good position to be in with a draft that’s strongest in the middle.
Third Round, Pick #99 = Luke Goedeke / G / Central Michigan
Goedeke’s teammate Bernhard Raimann went 25th, but this is still great value for the college tackle who will transition to guard in the NFL. New England knows they need to have a strong offensive line to protect Mac Jones.
Fourth Round, Pick #118 = Zyon McCollum / CB / Sam Houston State
McCollum won’t fill the void left by departing CB JC Jackson, but he’s still an intriguing prospect at a position the Patriots need to focus on. McCollum has a good combination of size and speed, and has shown a willingness to tackle that’s not always present with DBs.
Fourth Round, Pick #130 = Neil Farrell Jr. / DL / LSU
A defensive lineman with 3-4 size who can rush the passer? Yes, please. Farrell Jr. might not develop into an every down lineman. But if opposing offenses need to focus their blocks on Matthew Judon, Christian Barmore, and Drake Jackson, Farrell could find some enticing matchups left for him.
- / 12 months ago
To me, Rachel Nichols is the personification of posting a black square on Instagram.