The New England Patriots’ first-round draft selection has been finalized. Following their disappointing loss in the wild card playoff round on Saturday and two additional relevant games on Sunday, the team of head coach Bill Belichick now knows it will pick 21st overall in the late-April NFL Draft.
Finishing the regular season with a 10-7 record but losing 47-17 to the Buffalo Bills on wild card weekend, the Patriots had to wait for the results of the Philadelphia Eagles’ and Pittsburgh Steelers’ games to know where they would end up. With the two teams losing on Sunday to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, New England was unable to leap-frog them in the standings.
The Eagles, who ended the regular season with a 9-8 record, will therefore pick 19th. The 9-7-1 Steelers come at No. 20, followed by the Patriots.
New England is slated to pick ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders — another team losing on wild card round owning a 10-7 record — due to their strength of schedule. Whereas the Raiders’ regular season opponents had a combined winning percentage of .510, the Patriots’ check in at only .481.
The 23rd selection is still up for grabs and will be decided by the outcome of the Arizona Cardinals’ game at the Los Angeles Rams. The 24th pick will be owned by the Dallas Cowboys, who went one-and-done in the postseason after losing to the San Francisco 49ers.
As for the Patriots, the 21st overall pick is their second highest in the last 10 years. The team picked quarterback Mac Jones at No. 15 last spring but did not make a top-21 selection since drafting Chandler Jones at No. 21 in 2012.
All in all, New England is currently scheduled to own six selections in this year’s draft. They own one pick each in Rounds 1 through 4 as well as two sixth-rounders. They are not expected to get any compensatory draft picks due to their free agency spending spree, but could pick up an extra third-rounder if one of their minority coaches or executives gets hired by another team.
With Jerod Mayo set to interview with the Denver Broncos this week and also a possible candidate for the vacant Houston Texans job, that might indeed happen.
The 2022 NFL Draft will take place April 28-30 at the Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, NV.