The New England Patriots added wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the first round and they have five more picks scheduled for Friday. It would be a shock if the Patriots didn’t make some trades, but the point is that New England is well positioned to take advantage of all the talent still on the draft board.
So without further ado, here are the top players still on the board, based on Arif Hasan’s Consensus Big Board.
Top 15 Talents
Florida OT Jawaan Taylor: Previously a top 10 prospect, Taylor has slipped due to medical red flags about his knees and back.
Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf: Metcalf is an athletic phenom, but he didn’t produce in college and his route tree is limited. He’s a high-upside selection.
First Round Talents
LSU CB Greedy Williams, Washington CB Byron Murphy: Both could have gone in the top 20 as they’re both elite cornerback prospects, but only one cornerback (Deandre Baker to the New York Giants) went in the first round. There are a ton of defensive backs still on the board.
Delaware S Nasir Adderley, Florida S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: Both safeties were potential first round picks, too. Don’t be shocked if any of these four defensive backs are taken by the Patriots in the second round.
Oklahoma OL Cody Ford, Kansas State OL Dalton Risner, Texas A&M OL Erik McCoy: All were fringe first round picks, all should come off the board pretty quickly to start the second round.
Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler, South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel: I would have been happy if the Patriots selected any of these players. They are likely to come off the board quickly to start the second round.
Alabama TE Irv Smith: Smith is the best tight end on the board and the last of the big three prospects. I wouldn’t expect him to stick around long.
Missouri QB Drew Lock: It’s clear that teams weren’t high on quarterbacks in this class. Still, Bill Belichick loves a good SEC player with production, so maybe the Patriots could make a move to add him early on Friday.
Second Round Prospects
There were only three players ranked outside the top 50 that were drafted in the first round: Washington OT Kaleb McGary, Texas Christian DL L.J. Collier, and Alabama State OT Tytus Howard.
Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin, Michigan State CB Justin Layne, Notre Dame CB Julian Love, Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye, Clemson CB Trayvon Mullen, Central Michigan CB Sean Bunting: There are a ton of cornerbacks still on the board...
Virginia S Juan Thornhill, Washington S Taylor Rapp, Alabama S Deionte Thompson, Iowa S Amani Hooker: ...and a ton of safeties, too. I would expect the Patriots to get one of these top talents on Friday.
Michigan DE Chase Winovich, Florida DE Jachai Polite, Louisiana Tech DE Jaylon Ferguson, Boston College DE Zach Allen, Ohio State DT Dre’Mont Jones, Alabama LB Mack Wilson: There isn’t much depth in the defensive front seven, though. If the Patriots want to add any of these players, they’ll have to do it early.
Mississippi State OL Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi OL Greg Little: The offensive line talent is thinning out and only project players will be left pretty quickly. The Patriots would have to move quickly for either of these players.
Iowa State RB David Montgomery, Penn State RB Miles Sanders, Memphis Darrell Henderson, Alabama RB Damien Harris: The Patriots don’t have a need for a running back, but it would be helpful for the sake of the draft board if other teams selected these players early on and pushed other talent down to the Patriots...
NC State WR Kelvin Harmon, Ohio State WR Parris Campbell, Stanford WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside: ...the same could be said about these wide receivers. Maybe the Patriots will have started a run at receiver (fingers crossed) and other talent will be available for New England.
Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger: Perhaps Sternberger will be on the Patriots’ radar if Alabama’s Smith is off the board.