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Ladies and gentlemen, we made it! It’s been a tiring and interesting draft process but it’s time to do the thing for real. Let’s dive into the fifth and final installment of my seven-round New England Patriots mock draft. So far, I’ve traded up twice for quarterbacks, stuck at No. 15 in one scenario, and traded back in the other.
This one is my gut feeling on how this weekend may go — sorry “Trade up for a QB!” crowd. (Click here for Version 1.0, Version 2.0, Version 3.0 and Version 4.0).
- Patriots trade 1-15 and 4-122 to the Chicago Bears for 1-20 and 2-51
- Patriots trade 4-139 and 7-242 to the San Francisco 49ers for Jimmy Garoppolo
- Patriots trade 6-188 and 6-197 to the Tennessee Titans for 5-166
1st round, 20th overall (via CHI): LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Zaven Collins comes off the board here as the Patriots find their eventual Dont’a Hightower replacement in the middle of the front seven. Collins offers a rare combination of size, speed, and play strength to man that middle linebacker role at the next level. He has the ability to play off the ball, set the edge and come downhill and play physical in the run game.
A versatile player with an elite skill set, Collins could hold multiple roles in the Patriots’ defense and be an impact player the moment he gets into the building.
Once Zaven Collins triggers, he hits max speed in 3 steps & his speed on contact is 6.1 MPH.— Cory Yates (@CoryRAanalytics) April 17, 2021
+ Aggressive pursuit of target
+ Explosive in 1st 3 steps
+ Accelerates through contact pic.twitter.com/2D3RcKg1eL
2nd round, 46th overall: WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
If you’re looking for your “prototypical Patriot” from this year's class, it’s Amari Rodgers. A four-year standout at Clemson, Rodgers is one of the best slot receivers in the class and can make big plays after the catch — something old pal Jimmy Garoppolo loves his receivers to do. A big-play threat who can also stretch the field, Rodgers is a tough player who makes people miss while also being a willing blocker. He helps fills a need for the Patriots here at No. 46.
#Patriots Draft Target Thread: WR Amari Rodgers (Clemson) 5’9” 211 lbs— Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) March 8, 2021
• Versatile big-play threat
• 181 receptions for 2k+ yards in Clemson career
• Great vision as a ball carrier - YAC machine out of the slot pic.twitter.com/cwPfK7sfRf
2nd round, 52nd overall (via CHI): OT Brady Christensen, BYU
The reason for the lack of pressure Zach Wilson faced at the collegiate level? Brady Christensen, BYU’s first consensus All-American since 2009. The 6-foot-5, 302-pound tackle displays athleticism and elite footwork to project as an NFL starter. Christensen can move with power and is consistent in his hand placement while being solid in the RPO and run game.
With Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn — pending his fifth-year option being picked up — both on one-year deals, the Patriots should be in the market for a tackle in this year's draft. Christensen checks all the boxes for what they are looking for.
3rd round, 96th overall: CB Keith Taylor Jr, Washington
No more complaining about second-round defensive backs when you take them in the third, right? With the future of both Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson up in the air, going corner this early in the draft isn’t out of the question for the Patriots.
Washington does a great job in man coverage and excels in press coverage which is something Bill Belichick loves his corners to do. At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds Washington displays solid length and physicality as a true outside corner. He’s a willing tackler who loves to get downhill and help in the run game. He is a true outside corner that locked up a lot of wideouts at the Senior Bowl a few months back.
I continue to like what I’ve seen from Wahsington’s Keith Taylor Jr. Off-hand jam, quick to react to the WR’s change of speed. Physical rep with hand fighting both ways #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/9Arfo3t8KL— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 28, 2021
4th round, 120th overall: S Tyree Gillespie, Missouri
After the retirement of Patrick Chung and given Devin McCourty’s age, the Patriots may continue to look for safety depth heading into the future. Gillespie is a solid special teamer who is known for his versatility on the defensive side of the ball. A willing tackler who saw a lot of time at single-high safety, the Patriots add a player who can contribute on special teams right away as well as eventually take over for McCourty down the road.
These are the only plays you need to see to sell yourself on Missouri S Tyree Gillespie. Mostly a single-high deep safety. Enforcer on in-breakers (that's Smith in first clip), runs the alley to tackle ball carriers (that's Waddle in second clip), core special teamer. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/QfaFc3jbbZ— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) April 19, 2021
5th round, 166th overall (via TEN): DL Bobby Brown, Texas A&M
At 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Brown fits the mold of what the Patriots typically look for in their defensive tackles. He isn’t a big sack artist but he can two-gap and be an anchor against the run. The combination of his power, length and brute strength makes him a problem at the point of attack. He can push through an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage, collapse the pocket and disrupt running plays. The Patriots will look to add some youth and depth to their interior defensive line and Brown fits what they ask their linemen to do.
Bobby Brown III, DT, Texas A&M with the most disruptive play by a defensive lineman in the history of football. pic.twitter.com/BrVW3GcXmC— Matt Holder (@MHolder95) February 13, 2021
5th round, 177th overall: EDGE Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
Even with the additions to the front seven made so far this offseason the Patriots may still look to add some depth and youth to the edge position on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Weaver has good size at 6-foot-4 270 pounds and had 7.5 sacks and 34 tackles for loss in just nine games in 2020. He is a solid run defender due to his processing skills and burst off the edge.
DE Rashad Weaver consistently compresses running lanes vs TEs and OTs pic.twitter.com/18fMU6lbeL— Cover 1 (@Cover1) April 16, 2021
So, that is it. The Patriots may not get their rookie quarterback of the future but they pick up Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade and also add their defensive leader of the future in Zaven Collins. What do you think of this scenario? Let us know in the comments!
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