Folks, we made it. The draft process feels longer and more drawn out with every passing year (even though they actually moved the draft back up after a couple years of commencing at the beginning of May), but by the end of this week we will know the new class of New England Patriots draft picks and undrafted free agents. As you read this, Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio, and the rest of the Patriots war room are hashing out the final touches to their big board, settling on their strategy for the draft and preparing for any scenario that could come with the craziness that happens over the 3 days the draft spans. So, let’s do the same.
Below you will find a the 3 round mock draft using the big board I put together yesterday, which you can find here. The big board and mock draft were put together using The Draft Network’s excellent Big Board Builder and Mock Draft Simulator tools.
Using the big board we just put together above, this is a potential 3 round haul the Patriots could come away with without trading any picks. Let’s take a look at it round by round.
All three of Ferrell, Tillery, and Brown were available leading up to pick 31, so we knew we were going to come away with an A+ round 1 pick. After the Rams snatched Ferrell, Tillery was the easy pick, and then Brown went 2 picks into the second round. If we wanted to go all in and try to grab Brown too, 56 and 73 could’ve gotten us in the ballpark.
Tillery has the highest upside of the three potential first round picks I coveted. If everything comes together, Tillery could peak as an all-pro player, and there is no better place for him to try and maximize it than New England. His ability to win inside as a pass rusher would provide immediate value while he refines his technique and mental processing to contribute better as a run defender.
Big Board Players Taken: Christian Wilkins (26 to Indianapolis) N’Keal Harry (28 to L.A. Chargers), Noah Fant (30 to Green Bay), Clelin Ferrell (31 to L.A. Rams).
After grabbing a defensive lineman in round one, we were able to secure my favorite pick of the draft in Jace Sternberger, another A+ grade. Sternberger can step in next to Austin Seferian-Jenkins early in the year and potentially take over as the TE1 by the end of the year. He won’t be Rob Gronkowski, but he can be a more than a serviceable tight end for a long time.
We then doubled on the defensive line here, taking Charles Omenihu. In this instance with Tillery already in the fold, we’ll be looking at Omenihu as an EDGE replacement to Trey Flowers who can also kick inside to rush the passer. The versatility the Patriots love will be there with Tillery and Omenihu, good for an A grade.
Big Board Players Taken: A.J. Brown (34 to Indianapolis), Chase Winovich (37 to N.Y. Giants), Deebo Samuel (44 to Green Bay), Dexter Lawrence (60 to L.A. Chargers), Blake Cashman (61 to Kansas City), Jachai Polite (63 to Kansas City).
Terry McLaurin is a classic Patriots wide receiver and round three is where I really like the value at the position for New England. This is a solid B+ pick.
Drue Tranquill is a smart and experienced linebacker who could contribute on special teams and push Ja’Whaun Bentley or Elandon Roberts for a role on the defense, a fine pick that fills out the back-middle of the roster nicely for a B grade.
We finish up day two and round three by doubling up at wide receiver, taking Stanley Morgan Jr. — not the son of the former Patriots great with whom he shares a name. Perhaps a slight reach in round three, Morgan is another wideout who fits the Patriots well and can provide value to the back-middle of the roster, a nice B/B+ grade.
Big Board Players Taken: Christian Miller (65 to Arizona), Andy Isabella (66 to Pittsburgh), Tyree Jackson (71 to Denver), Vosean Joseph (72 to Cincinnati), Zach Allen (77 to Carolina), Dre’Mont Jones (81 to Minnesota), Dawson Knox (88 to Detroit), Oshane Ximines (89 to Indianapolis), Will Grier (91 to L.A. Chargers).
Big Board Players Still Available: Mecole Hardman, Khalen Saunders, Daylon Mack, Trysten Hill, Brett Rypien.
Feel free to follow and reach out to me on twitter @Ryan_Keiran to see my analysis as the draft unfolds and discuss with me. Also leave a comment with who you would like to see the Patriots target in the draft! Finally, next week I will be doing a full draft recap stream on twitch, which you can make sure you won’t miss by following Over_Peek!