For the first time in a long time, the New England Patriots did not make the playoffs in 2020. Getting back to the playoffs will be of utmost importance to Bill Belichick and company, which means that there is a lot riding on the upcoming NFL Draft. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the first installment of the Patriots seven-round mock draft and see what New England might do on draft day.
Note that this exercise was performed using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine, so there is a somewhat-realistic chance that the players selected will be available when New England is on the clock.
Seven-Round New England Patriots Mock Draft: Fixing the Offense
1st Round (15th Overall) – Kyle Pitts, TE
With the top four quarterbacks off the board, the Patriots go with the best tight end prospect to hit the NFL in a very long time. Kyle Pitts is an absolute monster of a man that can do just about everything you could hope for in the passing game. He moves like a wide receiver despite his 6’-6”, 235-pound frame and has some of the softest hands in the class. While it’s certainly not his strength, Pitts is an adequate blocker and will be able to play on all three downs. New England drafted two tight ends last year, but that’s no reason to pass on Pitts – he’s much better than Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene and should be a top-five NFL tight end within a few years.
#Patriots Draft Target Thread: TE Kyle Pitts (Florida) 6’5 240 lbs:
• Top talent in the class
• Extreme YAC ability that has the skills to beat both man and zone effectively
• Chess piece for the Florida offense
• Arguably the best TE prospect in over a decade pic.twitter.com/vGFakGQ7ss
— Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) February 1, 2021
2nd Round (47th Overall) – Kyle Trask, QB
The Patriots go back to Florida in this mock draft to secure a guy that just might be their quarterback of the future. Trask is older than your average prospect, but breakout age doesn’t matter quite as much with quarterbacks as it does other positions. The Florida product already demonstrates the ability to throw with touch and stand up to pressure, and was notably better in 2020 than he was in 2019. While his short-field accuracy leaves something to be desired, he’s the best you’re likely to find in the second round and should challenge for the starting job right out of the gate.
3rd Round (96th Overall) – Tyler Shelvin, IDL
New England’s run defense was one of the worst in the NFL last year, and the Patriots address that with Tyler Shelvin. At 6’-3” and a staggering 362 pounds, Shelvin is simply unmovable in the trenches and can eat up double teams with ease. Conditioning was reportedly an issue in college, and he isn’t going to do much on passing downs. However, Bill Belichick has a history of getting the most out of players like this, and he would solve an immediate need along the defensive line.
4th Round (119th Overall) – Sage Surrat, WR
I really wanted to take a wide receiver earlier in the draft, but the board didn’t fall the right way. Because of this, the Patriots had to wait until the fourth round to grab Sage Surrat out of Wake Forest. The redshirt Junior had a 90th percentile dominator ranking in college and, from a traits perspective, excels at using his size to win in contested situations. However, he’s one of the slowest receivers in the draft and lacks any ability to get open against press coverage. In this case, the Patriots will have to hope that the good traits outweigh the bad and for Surrat to become what they were hoping N’Keal Harry would be.
Ian Book with the throw, but look at this catch from Sage Surrat. Doesn’t create a lot of separation. Manages to make the catch and get two feet in for the TD. pic.twitter.com/GPJziv3kvo
— BGrisakDTR💭 (@bgrisakDTR) January 27, 2021
4th Round (137th Overall) – Cameron Sample, EDGE
The Patriots need to get younger on the defensive line, and they accomplish this feat by selecting Cameron Sample with their second fourth-round pick. Sample is a classic Belichick pick in that he’s a fundamentally sound player that can line up all over the trenches, although he’s better suited on the edge. While his unremarkable athleticism limits his ceiling, he should have a nice career as a rotational edge defender.
4th Round (143rd Overall) – Richard Lecounte, S
Last year, the Patriots found their long-term replacement for Patrick Chung in Kyle Dugger. This year, they take a swing for the next Devin McCourty in Richard Lecounte. Full disclaimer: Lecounte will almost certainly not be as good as McCourty. However, like McCourty, he has great football instincts that allow him greater range than his pure speed would suggest. This, combined with his ability to line up all over the field, makes him great against the pass. However, his subpar frame makes him a bit of a liability against the run. Truthfully, he’s probably more Duron Harmon than Devin McCourty, but that’s still a valuable pick in the 4th round.
5th Round (158th Overall) – Anthony Schwartz, WR
This portion of the draft is all about selecting the best player available, and that player is wide receiver Anthony Schwartz. Schwartz is a better athlete than your typical fifth-round pick and is tough to bring down after the catch. However, he’s still very raw as a prospect and could use some time to develop. If the coaching staff can teach Schwartz the subtle nuances of the position, he could end up being one of the draft’s bigger steals.
6th Round (183rd Overall) – Patrick Johnson, EDGE
Another cerebral and versatile edge defender, Johnson is another low-risk, mid-upside pick in the later rounds. Bill Belichick loves to play a variety of defensive fronts, and Johnson’s history of lining up at multiple positions should make him a good fit in New England. While he’s not the strongest or fastest, he understands his responsibilities on every play and rarely gets pushed around.
6th Round (191st Overall) – Simi Fehoko – WR
Simi Fehoko is one of my favorite late-round targets out there. Fehoko possesses great burst after the catch and can be a nightmare to take down in the open field. He can line up both inside and outside and makes plays on all three levels of the field, albeit consistency is an issue. That said, there is a reason he’s a late-round pick. Fehoko is very raw as a route runner and only ran a handful of patterns during his time in the collegiate ranks. However, his flashes of talent easily justify a sixth-round pick, as he can contribute on special teams in the short-term.
7th Round (239th Overall) – Camryn Bynum, CB
Camryn Bynum wraps up this Patriots mock draft thanks to his build and physical structure. He has the measurements to be an NFL cornerback, but his fundamentals aren’t nearly good enough for the NFL. However, the physical potential is there, and Bill Belichick has a history of developing late-round and undrafted cornerbacks into solid NFL players. Perhaps Bynum can be the next to join the ranks of Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, and Malcolm Butler.
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