Is it too early for a mock draft? Probably. The final two draft positions are not yet set, and the NFL has not yet given out any compensatory picks.
Is that going to stop me from giving you my Mock Draft 1.0? Absolutely not. I’m a man of the people, and if that’s what the people want, so it’s what they’re going to get. Also, the New England Patriots most certainly are not going to be getting a compensatory pick anyway this year after spending a record amount in free agency in 2021.
The draft process is just getting started for most, so a disclaimer that the mock draft machines are going to look very different soon because of the Senior Bowl and Combine, but I just followed what was on there right now. While this might not be the most realistic mock you see this draft season, it will give you a few prospects to keep an eye on, and, let’s be honest, it’s always fun to do mock drafts, no matter how early it is.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Round 1, Pick 21: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
The Patriot have a decision to make about J.C. Jackson this offseason, but regardless of what they decide, they are going to need more help at the cornerback position next year and beyond.
Trent McDuffie is a physical corner who plays hard in the run game, but also is a very good in coverage. He is known for his athleticism and his motor. The Patriots could put him at CB2 right away, and their defense would be much better off with Jalen Mills playing a hybrid role like they intended and Jonathan Jones in the slot.
Effort off the charts from Trent McDuffie pic.twitter.com/6Ssj0sVHkC— Cory (@realcorykinnan) November 5, 2021
TRADE: Patriots trade 2-53 to Jacksonville for 2-65 and 3-70
The Patriots have a bunch of holes that they need filled. Although this is the sweet spot for a guy like John Metchie, who I’m in love with but was already taken in this mock, we will trade back and try to select two impact players on Day 2.
Round 3, Pick 65: LB Leo Chenal, Wisconsin:
The Patriots desperately need linebacker help, and Leo Chenal can provide that for them. He is a very interesting prospect because he has a bunch of athleticism, but at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds is also around the size that they typically like from their linebackers. Chenal was an apt blitzer and showed a good ability to shed blocks and make stops in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage.
Leo Chenal is 260 pounds lol pic.twitter.com/3VQL0HqFEW— Ryan Roberts (@RiseNDraft) December 23, 2021
Leo Chenal vs Tyler Linderbaum— Damian Parson (@DP_NFL) January 8, 2022
Chenal uses violent and powerful hands. He flips his hips and footwork after engaging. He quickly sheds Linderbaum and the fullback! pic.twitter.com/kjUVWXl31w
Round 3, Pick 70: WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
Metchie might not be available for the Patriots in this particular mock draft, but Skyy Moore is a very nice consolation prize. Moore is a burner who is expected to run the 40-yard dash in the low 4.4s during the pre-draft process. Add the fact that he’s an able route runner who loves to work from the slot while also having shown the ability to make tough catches, and you get a guy that can come in and make an impact right away.
Skyy Moore is one of the better route runners in this class.— Ryder McConville (@RyderM25) January 23, 2022
Love the patience on his release. He is able to read what the CB is doing.
Nice pace variation here and gives a violent hip shift and plants that foot outside of the DB's frame. Points the eyes and toes to sell fade pic.twitter.com/ZyjxR1TqW0
Round 3, Pick 85: CB Marcus Jones, Houston
Marcus Jones is my draft crush this year. He possesses outrageous athleticism, and has been a standout on special teams, finishing his career with nine return touchdowns. He had five interceptions this year as well, and finished the season with just 10 catches allowed. As you can see, he does everything, and was the winner of the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in the NCAA this season.
Jones would add more athleticism to the Patriots defense, and give their special teams a true weapon in the process. He looks to be more of a slot corner in the NFL, but those don’t grow on trees, and, with the uncertainly in the New England secondary right now, I’m good with throwing as much as I can into it.
#Patriots draft target thread: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston— Pat Lane (@plane_pats) January 27, 2022
Jones won the Paul Hornung Award as the most versatile player in college football last year, and finished his collegiate career with 9 return touchdowns. Undersized, but with loads of speed and athleticism pic.twitter.com/akcWcgYWsy
Round 4, Pick 123: S Kerby Joseph, Illinois
Devin McCourty is one of the most important players on the Patriots defense, but he isn’t getting any younger. So, how about a free safety who plays the center field to replace him?
Joseph is a bit of a late bloomer, but he finished the year with five picks and showed a knack for being in the right spot at the right time because of his smarts and instincts. While not the most physically gifted guy, the Patriots usually go after smart players at this spot in the draft anyway. Let’s hope Joseph becomes more of Duron Harmon and McCourty, and less of a Jordan Richards.
Illinois defensive back Kerby Joseph with a great interception! Tracks the ball in the air and times his ascent perfectly to make the play.pic.twitter.com/krSvugSW8h— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 9, 2021
Round 5, Pick 172: C Alec Lindstrom, Boston College
Lindstrom is as mean as they come on the field, and I say that with a smile on my face. He is a physical center who loves finishing his blocks and driving defenders into the ground. The interior of the New England offensive line is pretty darn good, and David Andrews is an important player for the Patriots, but adding young players — especially if they have a mean streak like Lindstrom’s — is never a bad thing.
C Alec Lindstrom - Boston College— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 27, 2020
One of top center prospects in CFB - brother of Chris, now with Falcons. This kid is fun @MoveTheSticks
Lindstrom plays a physical brand of 'Bully Ball' - you're in for a fight against this OL. Always looking to finish defenders! @BigDuke50 pic.twitter.com/Xgb9QCwY0m
Round 6, Pick 208: EDGE Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma
The Patriots take an Oklahoma edge for the second consecutive year, and this one has some really solid explosion. Thomas had 22.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks over the last two seasons alone, and has great length at 6-foot-5. He is a guy who could be a development player for them, and shows some flashes of brilliance on tape.
It’s dangerous to leave Oklahoma’s Isaiah Thomas unblocked. He’s long, explosive, and aggressive in seeking out the ball carrier.— PFN Draft (@PFNDraft) November 20, 2021
Round 7, Pick 219: OT Matt Waletzko, North Dakota
I’ll be honest, I’d be shocked if Waletzko ended up being taken here. He is at the Senior Bowl and giving people an opportunity to see him against real competition. He has a chance to really shine.
He was measured at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds down in Mobile, which means he can add some weight to his frame; he also has 35 1/8-inch arms. He’s a great developmental tackle, and his tape is so much fun to watch. The Patriots might not be able to take him here in April, but he’s a name to keep an eye on as the draft process ramps up. Plus, getting to post the clip of him sending a corner into next week is worth it.
Finished my eval on #UND LT Matt Waletzko last night, and he’s a heavy handed, physical run blocker at POA. Plays with an attitude and finisher’s mentality.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) December 31, 2021
Impressive athlete in space too. Can pull and root out 2nd and 3rd level defensive players. Solid developmental prospect. pic.twitter.com/PtZ7hDsQVB
All in all, I think this would be a great draft for the Patriots. New England would be able to add athleticism and youth to its defense, and a playmaker for quarterback Mac Jones on offense, along with some developmental linemen on both sides.
There will be many mocks to come, so be on the lookout. Welcome to Draft Season!
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