The latest mock draft from ESPN's Todd McShay still doesn't include the New England Patriots, but it puts Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio, and company in a great position to help the team in the second round.
McShay only has a few surprises in the first round, most notably Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller going to the Bengals at 24th overall. Miller is a converted quarterback with one year of experience at the position, and he's being mocked to go ahead of his more-renowned teammate and fellow wide receiver Michael Thomas. It doesn't make much sense, but, hey, that's what mocks are for.
One might also think that if Miller was selected in the first round, that there was a serious run at the position. Miller was the second receiver drafted, after Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell to the 49ers at 7th overall. That's insanity.
Baylor's Corey Coleman, Ohio State's Michael Thomas, and Texas Christian's Josh Doctson are all still on the board with first round grades. So that means that Notre Dame's Will Fuller, Pittsburgh's Tyler Boyd, Oklahoma's Sterling Shepard, and Rutgers' Leonte Carroo, originally considered top 50 players, will likely get pushed down towards the end of the second round. The Patriots would absolutely take advantage of this talent if it were to fall.
Some might wish the Patriots to address their offensive line in the second round, but that wouldn't play out well in this scenario. The odds are heavily stacked against the Patriots taking an interior lineman before the 4th round, and a whopping five offensive tackles were selected in the first round. Any offensive tackle taken at the end of the second round would likely be a reach.
The best players left on McShay's board are Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander, along with multiple defensive linemen and edge defenders. Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is the only running back mocked in the first round, This works to the Patriots benefit because it will help some of the talented offensive players fall to the bottom of the second round.