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Monday Morning Mock Draft: Patriots swing a trade to get BYU quarterback Zach Wilson

Related: Patriots seven-round mock draft 1.0: New England bolsters front seven, wide receiver position

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 USC at BYU Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Super Bowl is in the rear-view mirror and we are not even a month away from free agency, which means that the entire NFL is now fully in offseason mode. Coming off a 7-9 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs, that offseason projects to be a pivotal one for the New England Patriots — when it comes to free agency, and as far as the draft is concerned. What they will do in late April, however, is anyone’s guess.

With that said, let’s take a closer look at how the experts are predicting New England will invest the 15th overall selection in the latest installment of Pats Pulpit’s Monday Morning Mock Draft.

Phil Perry, NBC Boston: QB Zach Wilson, BYU

The Falcons could be in the quarterback market, but the Patriots present them with real value to improve their 2021 roster as they try to make a little run with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. For the Patriots, giving away their first two picks and a future second is a lot to move up 11 slots; it’s a bit of an overpay, according to Rich Hill’s trade value chart. But for Wilson? A quarterback who can make any throw on the field, from any platform? And accurately? Worth it.

Drafting 15th overall, New England is in virtual no-man’s land when it comes to drafting one of this year’s top passers. However, Phil Perry has an easy fix to that problem: packaging that pick together with two second-round selection (No. 46 overall, plus a 2022 choice) to move up the board in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. In this scenario, the move would allow the Patriots to select Zach Wilson — one of the top passers available this year, and the possible QB2 behind consensus number one pick Trevor Lawrence. New England would pay a steep price, but as Phil points out: it might be worth it for a player of Wilson’s caliber.

The Patriots, by the way, would later recoup a second-round selection by trading Stephon Gilmore to the San Francisco 49ers for the 43rd overall pick.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of QB Zach Wilson at No. 4?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    A
    (652 votes)
  • 22%
    B
    (245 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (111 votes)
  • 4%
    D
    (51 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (52 votes)
1111 votes total Vote Now

Jon Ledyard, Pewter Report: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

The Patriots got away from their prototype at wide receiver when they drafted N’Keal Harry, prioritizing size, speed and athleticism over the ability to play the position. My guess is they’ll get back to their roots and select a play-maker like Bateman, although they may trade down some to do it. Bateman is an elite route runner and one of the more pro-ready receivers in the draft. This might be a bit high for him, but the fit is good, and I think he’ll impress New England during the pre-draft process.

There is no question that the Patriots have to upgrade their offensive skill position talent, and drafting Rashod Bateman in the first round would allow them to do just that. The 15th overall pick might be a bit early for the 6-foot-1 wide receiver to come off the board, but he certainly possesses the upside to develop into a viable WR1 in New England’s scheme — something that N’Keal Harry failed to do over his first two years since getting picked 32nd overall.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of WR Rashod Bateman at No. 15?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    A
    (130 votes)
  • 26%
    B
    (326 votes)
  • 32%
    C
    (395 votes)
  • 17%
    D
    (220 votes)
  • 12%
    F
    (154 votes)
1225 votes total Vote Now

Austin Gayle, Pro Football Focus: DT Christian Barmore, Alabama

Barmore’s consistency at Alabama is reason to be concerned with him as a high-end prospect, but his performances in the Crimson Tide’s bouts with Notre Dame and Ohio State in the College Football Playoff are some of the best we’ve seen from any defensive tackle in this class. Buying into the high end and continuing to develop Barmore (RS So.) at the next level is a worthwhile investment for the Pats at No. 15, especially knowing the lack of depth in the 2021 defensive tackle class.

New England’s interior defensive line could see some serious personnel turnover this year: the top-three in terms of playing time from a year ago — Deatrich Wise Jr, Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler — are all headed for unrestricted free agency and therefore no locks to return. But even if one or two of them are brought back, the Patriots would likely want to upgrade the talent around them after struggling to field consistent playmakers outside of Guy and Butler over the course of 2020 season.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of DT Christian Barmore at No. 15?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    A
    (95 votes)
  • 36%
    B
    (233 votes)
  • 28%
    C
    (183 votes)
  • 12%
    D
    (81 votes)
  • 6%
    F
    (44 votes)
636 votes total Vote Now

Matt Miller, The Draft Scout: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

A fall for Parsons — I value him as a top 10 pick — but a perfect landing spot as the New England Patriots will utilize his unique skillset in a myriad of ways. He’s athletic, instinctive, strong and able to impact the game as a run-stuffer, pass-rusher and in zone coverage.

Philosophically, New England’s defense is built around the linebacker position making plays on the edge or from the second level. Micah Parsons would therefore be a perfect fit, especially if he slips out of the top-10 and into the Patriots’ hands. As noted in the excerpt above, Parsons is a do-it-all player who would be a perfect complement and potential successor to veteran Dont’a Hightower as the leader of the team’s defensive front seven.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of LB Micah Parsons at No. 15?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    A
    (989 votes)
  • 27%
    B
    (425 votes)
  • 4%
    C
    (75 votes)
  • 1%
    D
    (20 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (29 votes)
1538 votes total Vote Now

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

Owusu-Koramoah has arguably the most fun tape of any defensive prospect in this class. Everything he does is sudden.

Even with the aforementioned Micah Parsons still on the board, Chris Trapasso went after another linebacker in his new mock draft: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah out of Notre Dame. Another impressive athlete who could help fill the second off-the-ball spot New England struggled to address in 2020 — safety Adrian Phillips was primarily asked to play the role — Owusu-Koramoah would take over Phillips’ responsibilities while providing better size in the run game.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at No. 15?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    A
    (85 votes)
  • 40%
    B
    (237 votes)
  • 27%
    C
    (163 votes)
  • 10%
    D
    (62 votes)
  • 7%
    F
    (45 votes)
592 votes total Vote Now

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

There’s been a lot of scuttlebutt about the Patriots potentially trading Stephon Gilmore, whose contract expires after the 2021 season. In this scenario, New England looks to his alma mater to find the player who’ll replace him.

The cornerback position appears set at the moment, but its future is still uncertain: Stephon Gilmore is a potential trade candidate, Jason McCourty is headed for free agency, and J.C. Jackson will need a new contract as well after becoming a restricted free agent this spring. New England might therefore be prompted to bring a cornerback like Horn — a long and competitive defender capable of developing into a starter on the perimeter — aboard in the first round of the draft.

Poll

How would you grade the selection of CB Jaycee Horn at No. 15?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    A
    (109 votes)
  • 28%
    B
    (397 votes)
  • 32%
    C
    (462 votes)
  • 20%
    D
    (284 votes)
  • 11%
    F
    (163 votes)
1415 votes total Vote Now