The 2020 NFL Draft is fast approaching, as the April 23rd opening night is just over two months away. While free agency has yet to commence, the New England Patriots will likely have several positions on their roster in need of reloading young talent. Currently, New England will have 12 selections, including their projected compensatory picks, this April.
New England Patriots Mock: 7-Round Draft 1.0
Predicted Draft Pick Trades
Bill Belichick has long been known for his draft board maneuvers and this year should not bring anything different. Unlike some mock drafts, we will try to replicate the Patriots’ possible draft day movements. The Patriots draft capital features one first-round pick, three third-round picks, one fourth-round pick, four sixth-round picks, and three seventh-round picks. Part of the reason for Belichick’s predictable yearly draft movement is he does not like to have extensive breaks in between his selections. Thus, it is very likely that Belichick will find a way to acquire both fifth and second-round picks before, or during, draft day.
In this Patriots mock draft, New England has made two trades that sent their first-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for second, third, and fourth-round picks. The second trade featured the Patriots sending two sixth-round picks, a seventh-round pick, and a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for the Lions 2020 fifth-round pick.
Patriots Mock Draft 1.0
*Projected compensatory pick
Round 2, Pick 6: IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (6-foot-4, 319 pounds)
Ruiz fits the mold for what New England loves in their offensive linemen. The Michigan product has an impressive combination of strength and mobility in his style of play. Ruiz has the power, quickness, along with technique to move defenders in the run game, to get to the second level of a defense and play in space on screens. Additionally, having spent the majority of his college career at center, Ruiz easily has enough football IQ to understand NFL caliber blocking schemes and blitz responsibilities from all three interior positions.
Round 3, Pick 5: EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama (6-foot-5, 258 pounds)
Lewis has the powerful frame of a dominant NFL pass rusher and is comfortable with both playing in space as well as with his hand in the dirt. Additionally, Lewis’ power and explosive athleticism has drawn comparisons to Minnesota Vikings defender Danielle Hunter. Lewis’ extremely raw and unpolished talent gives him a very high ceiling, but a 2017 elbow and 2018 ACL injury has hindered his development along with raising durability concerns. Lewis is considered to be a high risk, high reward prospect who, with the proper coaching and strength program, could turn into one of the league’s best edge players.
Round 3, Pick 23: DL Leki Fotu, Utah (6-foot-5, 335 pounds)
Fotu’s best traits are clearly his raw power and strength within the middle of a defense. While his height affects his ability to consistently keep his pad level low, Fotu has a lot of upside if developed correctly within a system that utilizes his body. Furthermore, Fotu possesses impressive quickness for his size and while he is not yet polished enough to consistently two gap, he is more than capable of firing off the ball into one assigned gap and disrupting offenses.
*Round 3, Pick 33: S Brandon Jones, Texas (6-foot, 205 pounds)
Jones has the physicality and above-average tackling ability which Belichick loves in his safeties. While Jones is certainly serviceable in zone coverage, his real strengths appear when he lines up as a box safety on early downs. Patrick Chung has struggled with injuries as he has aged, Jones would allow Chung to have a less physical and more coverage role within the team’s defense.
*Round 3, Pick 35: DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU (6-foot-2, 308 pounds)
Lawrence is a solid run defender who has the talent to anchor the Patriots run defense on early downs. While he struggles in pass rush situations due to a lack of speed, Lawrence has sound fundamentals and would make an impact defending the run from day one.
Round 4, Pick 7: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford (6-foot-7, 251 pounds)
The Stanford prospect easily has the mental capacity needed in order to learn New England’s complex system. Additionally, Parkinson has surprising agility for his size as well as talent and awareness when blocking defenders at the second level. While Parkinson’s lack of top end speed will drop him on many draft boards, he has demonstrated very strong hands and capable route running for a player of his stature. Parkinson will need time to develop the finer details of his route running in order to make up for his lack of pure speed, but his blocking ability and smarts would provide a much needed upgrade within the Patriots offense.
Round 4, Pick 19: OT Trey Adams, Washington (6-foot-8, 314 pounds)
Adams is considered to be one of the biggest high risk, high reward players entering this year’s draft. Simply put, Adams has all of the tools and intangibles of a franchise left tackle but has struggled to stay healthy. Adams has great fluidity in pass protection along with impressive strength when engaging defenders. After once being considered a high round pick, significant knee and back injuries have been huge red flags for the Washington prospect, causing his draft stock to take a major hit. However, New England does not currently need a plug and play left tackle, which would provide the perfect situation for Adams to get fully healthy.
Round 5, Pick 3: WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State (6-foot, 192 pounds)
Hill has largely been overshadowed due to the overwhelming top-end receiver talent in this draft class. However, Hill is a tremendous short and intermediate route runner who projects as a slot receiver at the next level. Additionally, despite a small catch radius, Hill has reliable hands and has caught the most passes in the history of Ohio State football.
Round 6, Pick 16: LB Joe Bachie, Michigan State (6-foot-2, 231 pounds)
Bachie is an inside MIKE linebacker whose strengths are playing downhill while defending the run and utilizing his above average football IQ in order to make up for his lack of speed. Coverage is not Bachie’s strong suit and he likely will not be a three-down linebacker in the NFL, but he can take over the thumper role of soon to be free agent, Elandon Roberts.
*Round 6, Pick 34: G Solomon Kindley, Georgia (6-foot-4, 336 pounds)
Kindley has benefited from playing along one of the Nation’s top offensive lines in college football. While Kindley currently lacks the desirable quickness and mobility for someone of his potential, he plays with eye opening strength and power along the interior. Kindley has the tools to be a functional NFL lineman, but trimming some extra weight off his frame along with developing the finer details of his game is a must.
Round 7, Pick 16: WR/ QB/ HB Malcolm Perry, Navy (5-foot-9, 190 pounds)
Perry seems destined to be in New England as he is one of the most versatile and intriguing players of this draft class. Perry likely will not be a quarterback at the next level, but he is extremely dangerous when the football is in his hands. Finding a role for Perry will take a creative coaching mind and Perry will need to demonstrate his value in being a long-term project. Julian Edelman is an easy comparison to make in terms of how Perry will be entering the league, but he will take years to fully develop into an offensive contributor.
Round 7, Pick 27: QB Shea Patterson, Michigan (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) [Draft Profile]
In the proper system, under the proper coach, Patterson could develop into a serviceable backup quarterback. Throughout college, Patterson showed flashes when extending plays, but his inconsistency and poor decision making at times was extremely frustrating. Patterson would benefit from a heavily scripted offense that revolves around talented skill position players and relies on short, quick passes.