Patriots 7 Round Mock Draft
Written by: Wayne G
Its NFL Draft season and the first round starts in just over a week. There's been ton of speculation surrounding who the Patriots will take in the first round, so we wanted to offer some insight to who they may take in the remaining rounds as well. They've picked up a new offensive coordinator, and enter the draft with quite a few holes to fill. Their biggest question, how to get the most realistic and unbiased 7 rounds of picks possible.
A report had emerged that cornerback, Emmanuel Forbes from Mississippi State, was visiting the Patriots. I decided to see where he was projected to be drafted, and came across the website www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com. The site includes an array of mock drafts from around the world and compile them in one place, then give you the average spot a player was drafted, and the spot they have been most frequently drafted. They also offer a 7 round mock draft feature, where you select a team, and go the draft selecting players. They do allow trades, and even though I fully expect the Patriots to make about 4 trades during the draft, this mock was done with no trades. Just 11 picks as scheduled.
In order to get a fair and realistic draft, I participated in 7 mock drafts, with the players being selected the most at each pick becoming the consensus player for that pick. Now that you know how the sausage was made, let's dig in, shall we?
Round 1, Pick 14
New England's biggest need heading into the draft is defensive secondary, then comes offensive line help. Ideally, I would love for the Patriots to draft offensive line with this pick, but with 5 of 7 mocks coming up Joey Porter, they should address secondary first.
The son of a former Pittsburgh Steelers player, his NFL pedigree will be a plus for Bill Belichick. At 6'2, he also fits the "long" description that Bill loves so much. He was targeted 30 times last year, and allowed 15 catches, and a passer rating against of 63.6. New England is one of the best in the league when it comes to coaching corners and safeties, a player like Joey Porter Jr could turn out to be a top 5 corner in the league for a decade, should they make this pick.
Round 2, Pick 46
With defensive secondary out of the way, it's time for the Patriots to address their offensive line now, right? Not according to this 7 round mock draft. 5 out of the 7 mock drafts chose linebacker Jack Campbell. Listed as an edge on some sites, he is a true off the ball linebacker, and tackling machine. Nothing gets by him, and he buries ball carriers and quarterbacks alike hit every hit. He's fast, athletic, and although the Patriots already have Ja'Whaun Bentley, Campbell could be an upgrade.
Round 3, Pick 76
The defensive secondary gets addressed for the second time in three rounds, as the Patriots select Alabama safety Jordan Battle. Devin McCourty has retired and left a giant hole in the deep secondary. While Jalen Mills has played some safety (he'll tell you all about it), they do need a true deep man. The remaining safeties on the team (Duggar, Phillips, Peppers) are in the box, linebacker-hybrid types. Last season, Battle played 196 defensive snaps in the box and 574 deep. He hits hard and tackles, and that's all Bill asks for from his secondary.
Round 4, Pick 107
Patriots fans are clamoring for wide receiver help. Whether Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe is your starter week 1, they still need someone to throw to. I agree that a receiver is a need, but it's not at the top of the list, which is why Bill wont overreach for a player like Quentin Johnson or even worse, Zay Flowers.
In round 4, the Patriots land a big target in Jonathan Mingo. He's fast (4.46), can high point the ball (40" vertical), and strong as an ox (22 reps). Not only does he give the Patriots a legitimate outside target, but he can block, and shove DB's into the turf for Mondre on those sweep plays. Projected to be a 3rd or 4th round pick, we get him here in 5 of 7 mock drafts.
Round 4, Pick 117
Matthew Judon has been a force of nature the last two seasons, and Josh Uche and Deatrich Wise are quick off the edge. However, the latter two players don't produce at a level that takes pressure and more importantly, double teams off of Judon. KJ Henry could be the steal of the draft. As one of the most explosive player in the draft, he had 380 pass rush attempts last season, 34 quarterback hurries, 51 tackles, and 9 we for a loss (20% of all his tackles were for a loss). He gets in the backfield, and he does it in the blink of an eye.
Round 4, Pick 135
Another potential steal in the 2023 draft, LSU cornerback Mekhi Garner, he may have even been an early second round pick had he tested a lot faster. He runs a 4.55 second forty. But don't be fooled, like many of the experts and mock drafters out there. Watch the film on this guy and you will see someone who brings the boom on every hit. If there was such a thing as an "in the box corner", this guy would be the picture in the dictionary. He may start out on special teams, but after he knocks a few ball carriers out, you'll see this guy in the starting lineup.
Round 6, Pick 184
Michigan kicker Jake Moody was the pick in this slot in 7 out of 7 mock drafts. The computer may think it's too early to take a kicker here, but the computer isn't Bill Belichick. The man loves special teams, and he needs a kicker. Moody has been the best kicker in college football for the past 2 seasons. In 2021 he won the Lou Garza award to prove it. He's made all 148 of his extra point attempts in college, and had a FG% of 82. Kicked a 59 yarder his freshman season, and achieves a touchback on 67% of his kickoffs. No more having our punter do kickoffs.
Round 6, Pick 187
You didn't really think Trace McSorely was going to make the roster did you? The Patriots need a backup to their backup, whoever that ends up being, and Cunningham is the perfect quarterback to run the scout offense vs a defense that struggled against any mildly mobile quarterback last season. He ran for 560 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and 1,031 yards with 20 touchdowns the year before. He is skinnier version of Lamar Jackson.
Round 6, Pick 192
The Patriots do have 4 running backs on the roster currently (Stevenson, Robinson, Strong, K. Harris), but it's a position that gets worn down and burned out quickly. And speaking of quick, the little guy from Kansas State, Deuce Vaughn, will quickly remind everyone of a shifty small back they used to have named Dion Lewis. He had 1,558 yards rushing and caught 42 balls last season. With a PFF score of 82.1, he will be the highest rated player selected in round six.
Round 6, Pick 210
The Patriots choose depth here, and select a player they brought in for a top 30 visit. Ronnie Bell will not wow you with size or athleticism, but he is gritty and has great hands. He also played almost as many snaps in the slot as he did outside last season, so Belichick will value the versatility. He was targeted 97 times last season, and may not see the field a ton his rookie year, but he plays like a Patriot, and could be a long term fit.
Round 7, Pick 145
With your last pick in the draft, why not take a player with huge upside? DJ Johnson started his career as a Tight End, and moved over to edge. He is, for lack of a better term, a physical freak. He runs a 4.49 forty, and did 28 reps at the combine. On 221 pass rush snaps last season, he had 21 hurries and 5 sacks. He is very raw, but could be a gem with the right coaching.