It’s been quite a while since my first seven-round mock draft in February, so I decided it was high time to bring out an updated version.
Everyone is excited about the possibility of the New England Patriots trading up into the top-10 for a quarterback in this year’s draft, but that’s not the route I have them taking in this mock. I do, however, have them trading up for a QB.
Let’s get into it!
TRADE: Patriots trade 1-15 and 4-120 to Cleveland for 1-26, 2-59, and 2022 2nd-round pick
Before you ask, yes, Mac Jones was on the board. Trading back to fill the gap between the 46th and 96th selections, while also grabbing a second-rounder for next year was too good to pass up, though.
1st round, 26nd overall (via trade with CLE): CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
A potential stud who missed his final college season due to injury and has back concerns? It seemed to work out pretty good with a certain tight end from Arizona, and the Patriots could take another chance here in the late first round.
Farley is one of the top cornerback prospects in the draft, but there are serious concerns about his health. With that being said, he is still in the conversation for CB1 because of his insane talent and skillset at the position. It’s a bit of a risk, but the Patriots know better than most how important a true lockdown corner is, and Farley has the potential to be just that. Given the long-term uncertainty surrounding Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson, this pick makes sense at No. 26.
Size and Speed.— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) April 6, 2021
That's how to describe @HokiesFB DB Caleb Farley as he prepares for the NFL.
@pff_seth and ACCDN host @WesGotRange break down Farley's prospects. #NFLDraft2021 | @ACCFootball pic.twitter.com/M4dW0rwuPm
2nd round, 46th overall: WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
The Patriots passed on two receivers from Ole Miss in 2019, and don’t make that mistake again. Moore is the best slot prospect in the draft, and has the physical makeup to play on the outside as well. New England has already rebuilt its passing game in free agency, and Moore will be another target to help them this year and beyond.
WR Elijah Moore is a fun watch.— John Chapman (@JL_Chapman) April 3, 2021
Dude is a swiss army knife!#ElijahMoore pic.twitter.com/P8PTnPrP66
TRADE: Patriots trade 2-59 to Atlanta for 3-68 and a 2022 3rd-rounder
With a few players on the board that they like, the Patriots move back nine spots and pick up an extra third-round pick next year.
3rd round, 68th overall (via trade with ATL): LB Nick Bolton, Missouri
Bolton is a player who I love because he plays downhill and is physical at the line of scrimmage. He is a little limited in coverage, which could push him down the draft board, but is the perfect type of player that could come in and help the Patriots at a position that, even after multiple additions this offseason, can still use some work.
#Mizzou LB Nick Bolton is an enjoyable watch. As far as diagnosing, attacking, and finishing, he’s arguably the best second level defender in this class at that. The game vs. Alabama is a great snapshot of that.— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) December 2, 2020
Outstanding at seeing pullers. pic.twitter.com/l5QOCuRoYr
TRADE: Patriots trade 3-96, 6-197, and a 2022 3rd-rounder to Carolina for 3-73
I promised you a trade up for a quarterback, and here it is.
3rd round, 73rd overall (via trade with CAR): QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M
The Patriots finally go after a QB, albeit a little later than most fans would probably prefer. Mond is a really interesting prospect, though, and could certainly become a starter in the league further down the line. Selecting him is definitely not a sure thing, but, for the price of a third-round selection (plus trade-up change), it’s a pretty reasonable shot for them to take.
Wrote about Kellen Mond. Although I’m not as high on him as @CSimmsQB, I agree that Mond is underrated in this QB class & believe that the #Patriots will be fans.— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) March 5, 2021
Three-year starter in the SEC, pro-style system, strong Senior Bowl.
4th round, 122nd overall: DT Tyler Shelvin, LSU
In a generally weak class of defensive tackles, it might be a bit of a surprise to see someone like Shelvin drop this far down the draft board. The thing to remember about him, however, is that he is limited in what he does. He is a true nose tackle, and not every team can use a player like that. The Patriots, however, are in need of a nose even after adding Davon Godchaux in free agency, and would probably love to pick up a player like Shelvin this late in the draft.
#Patriots Draft Target Thread: DT #72 Tyler Shelvin (LSU) 6’3” 350lbs.— Keagan Stiefel (@KeaganStiefel) February 6, 2021
• Literally built different.
• Space eater with great play strength and an unbelievable base.
• Powerful defender who can reestablish the LOS with ease. pic.twitter.com/EBPVQZIuc3
4th round, 139th overall: WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee
New England continues to add to its passing game by picking a receiver from Tennessee in Round 4. Palmer may not be the most explosive athlete in the draft, but he has shown that he knows how to play the position well, and the Patriots are in need of young players like that.
Every year there’s 5-10 WR prospects that everyone talks about and every year there’s a handful of guys outside that group that become quality NFL starters. @Vol_Football WR Josh Palmer (@Flowercitysown) made plays all week and should’ve gotten everyone’s attention in Mobile. pic.twitter.com/FkdruiEbJI— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 16, 2021
5th round, 177th overall: RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
Mitchell is a guy who has flown under the radar until his Pro Day, when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash. He also had elite numbers in the 3-cone drill (6.94) and broad jump (10’8”). Long story short, he is a fantastic athlete who could help out the Patriots in the running game and passing game.
He is a little bit better of a receiver than he is been given credit for, and, also a lot more than just a speed back, which becomes clear when you see how hard he runs on film. After a likely redshirt year (just like most New England’s backs), Mitchell could be a solid contributor in 2022 and beyond.
Q: How many defenders does it take to bring down Elijah Mitchell?— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 26, 2020
A: Too many pic.twitter.com/eM06EZBb4z
6th round, 188th overall: G Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
Hainsey played tackle in college, but will almost certainly be moving inside at the next level. He is a large, powerful prospect, who could help the Patriots at a few different positions, though. He was one of only two players to not allow even a single pressure at the Senior Bowl, and showed that he can play all over the offensive line.
A bunch of OL helped themselves with strong Senior Bowl week but none more than @NDFootball 2x captain Robert Hainsey. Projected as RT/G going into Mobile but looked like a natural at center and now has highly desirable 4-position versatility. @rhainsey72 will be a 10-year pro. pic.twitter.com/wKDjGa0HX7— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 7, 2021
6th round, 197th overall: CB Tre Brown, Oklahoma
Brown may be small at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, but he is physical cornerback. With the possible turnover at defensive back in the next year or two, the Patriots can use as much help as possible in the back end. The Oklahoma product gives them just that, even with Caleb Farley already brought aboard in Round 1.
Tre Brown (@T_Brown25) vs Oklahoma St WR Tylan Wallace— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 7, 2021
2 receptions allowed
46.4 passer rating when targeted pic.twitter.com/EW22ghYvmj
7th round, 242nd overall: K Riley Patterson, Memphis
Yes, the Patriots are drafting another kicker. The last time New England took a kicker from Memphis, it seemed to work out pretty well. Patterson ended his career with the second most points in Tigers history, and with the second best field goal success rate — even better than Stephen Gostkowski’s. With Nick Folk playing on a one-year deal, and increased practice squad sizes, Patterson could come in to give Folk a push and possibly spend the year on the practice squad.
Riley Patterson calls game. Memphis takes down Houston at the buzzer. pic.twitter.com/Ho9f8o5t5o— Steve Helwick (@s_helwick) December 13, 2020
So, that does it. The Patriots make some moves, fill some areas of need, and draft some potential top-end talent. And even though they pass on a quarterback in the first round, they find a high-upside option to groom behind Cam Newton on Day 2.
Please let me know what you think down in the comments, and what you would change about this draft!
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Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast. Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats.