Usually I go for Top 10 fits every year and I’ll get 1-2 of the players right every year. Instead I’ll go for 10 players I think are most likely to get drafted by the Patriots this year.
- Harvey Langi, EDGE/LB, BYU: The Patriots have long been in contact with Langi, who is better suited to play linebacker in the Patriots defense. His 4.62/4.32/7.00 times on the 40, shuttle, and 3C are very good for an ILB and has the size the Patriots like at the position. Langi played in a 3-4 scheme at BYU as both an inside and outside linebacker, although his best position will be inside. In Year 1, he’ll compete with Elandon Roberts for the starting ILB role next to Dont’a Hightower and also play Special Teams.
- Vince Biegel, EDGE/LB, Wisconsin: Biegel is another EDGE/LB tweener that tested really well at the combine. His game is very reminiscent to Rob Ninkovich, who was extremely productive player for the Patriots over the years. A terrific edge setter against the run and a workman-like approach towards rushing the passer, Biegel fits with what the Patriots like to do with their edge rushers.
- Howard Wilson, CB, Houston: The Patriots might be targeting someone who can play the slot CB role in case Malcolm Butler leaves in free agency or gets traded before or during the draft. Wilson doesn’t have elite speed and may struggle against bigger and faster receivers on the boundary, but his strong agility numbers (sub-4 shuttle, sub 6.7 3-cone) makes him an ideal fit for the slot. Wilson has fluid hips and can mirror WRs in coverage and often the slot defender is put in single coverage with no help.
- Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska: Gerry is a guy the Patriots could target on the 3rd day, I have him mocked to NE at 131, as a stopgap safety depth option. Gerry is more of a traditional strong safety that plays down in the box and intermediate zones, but doesn’t have the versatility that Patrick Chung brings as a man coverage defender.
- Trey Hendrickson, EDGE/LB, FAU: Hendrickson is somewhat of a project as a defensive end in the NFL, but dominated the competition at FAU and tested well at the combine to make himself a Day 2 pick. His 1.59 10-split combined with a 7.03 3-cone and 4.20 shuttle shows up on tape and drills as Hendrickson is a very fluid athlete. His biggest problems come in the run game, where his lack of strength could be a problem. Hendrickson probably is a 3rd down rush specialist early in his career while he works on adding strength in the weight room. One possible outside the box fit would be to move him into a hybrid outside/inside linebacker role.
- Carroll Phillips, EDGE/LB, Illinois: Phillips is a similar athlete to Jamie Collins, but a lot more raw and less production at the position. Phillips is another tweener edge rusher whose best position may be in a pursuit role at LB. The Patriots will give him snaps to go after the QB every now and then. I’d like to see him add strength and improve his technique, I think he could make for a solid inside/outside linebacker.
- Deatrich Wise, EDGE, Arkansas: Wise fits the profile of an edge setter that will kick inside on passing downs to attack the middle of the pocket. On Day 3, he looks like a guy the Patriots will take on the back end of a double dip at the position. His length inside is an asset as someone who can get into the passing lane and bat down passes. I’d be curious to see how the Patriots pass rush would look with him and his former teammate Trey Flowers attacking the pocket inside.
- Shaquill Griffin, CB, Central Florida: Griffin is another strong tester that has inside/outside versatility, although he’s better on the boundary than inside. Griffin played a lot of press at Central Florida and is a willing and capable run defender. Griffin is more of a long term move on the boundary and depth for injuries even though the Patriots are stacked with excellent boundary corners.
- Delano Hill, S, Michigan: Hill is more versatile than Gerry at safety at roughly the same size. Hill has experience playing in the box, out deep, and covering TEs in man coverage. The biggest issue for him is the occasional mental lapse, whether it’s a bad angle or a penalty. Playing in a backfield that includes one of the best safeties in Devin McCourty should help in his development, but my biggest concern with Hill is he’s a jack of all trades, master of none type safety.
- Daeshon Hall, EDGE, Texas A&M: Hall is another edge setter that the Patriots could use similar to Wise. Hall put up similar testing numbers to former Patriots edge rusher Chandler Jones, although wasn’t nearly as dominant in college. Hall put up large TFL numbers in the run game, although it didn’t translate enough into sacks. Hall can be deployed on the edge on run downs and inside on passing downs where his length and quickness are a mismatch against guards.
Missed the cut: WR Ryan Switzer, WR Trent Taylor, EDGE Dylan Donahue, CB Cameron Sutton, IOL Ethan Pocic
Who do you think the Patriots are most likely to draft from this group of prospects?
This poll is closed