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ESPN’s Todd McShay predicted Patriots would draft OT Conor McDermott almost 1 year ago

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McShay also predicted Deatrich Wise would go in the first round.

The New England Patriots added two players on the third day of the 2017 NFL Draft in Arkansas EDGE Deatrich Wise Jr. and UCLA OT Conor McDermott. If you took a time machine back to the start of the 2016 college football season, both players were expected to go in the first round- and one of them was even projected to go to the Patriots in Todd McShay’s “Way Too Early 2017 NFL Mock Draft” over at ESPN.com.

At 27th overall, McShay has McDermott going to the Patriots.

“There are a bunch of massive offensive tackle prospects in this class,” McShay writes. “McDermott is listed at 6-foot-9 and 310 pounds. A good athlete for his size, McDermott earned Mr. Basketball honors in Tennessee as a high school senior.”

McDermott landed in New England with the 211th overall pick, not the 27th, but this is a pretty solid projection for a player based on measurements and potential a year before the draft. McDermott has the prototypical left tackle size that the Patriots like and a proven track record of success (other than against Myles Garrett)- and this mock was before we understood the level of injury to Sebastian Vollmer and the renaissance of Marcus Cannon.

Wise was projected to go 28th overall, one spot after McDermott, to the Seattle Seahawks.

“All eight of Wise’s sacks last season [2015] came in SEC play,” McShay notes. “He caught a lot of attention late in the season, finishing with six sacks in his final three games (LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri). If he strings together some similarly dominant games again, Wise will be in the first-round conversation.”

Wise battled hand and shoulder injuries over his final season which prevented him from taking a step forward as a player, but despite a decline in sacks, ProFootballFocus actually saw an incremental improvement from Wise in 2016.

The Patriots drafted two high-upside players on day three of the draft- players that might have been first round picks if they had remained healthy or if they faced Garrett at the end of the season- and they have to be pretty happy with the outcome.

And we have to give major props to McShay, who correctly predicted 14 of 28 first round players- four of his players opted to return to school for 2017- with an additional seven players coming off the board shortly after the end of the first round. For making this projection one year early, McShay did a pretty great job.