clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

#PostPulpit Mailbag: Who are some late-round cornerbacks to watch for the Patriots?

Patriots draft profiles: Scouting reports, analysis, best fits, and more

Nebraska v Minnesota Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

With just under one week until the NFL Draft is set to kick off, perhaps the craziest NFL offseason to date got even crazier. As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, 49ers star wide receiver Deebo Samuel has asked for a trade.

Samuel has long left a sour taste in New England Patriots’ fans mouth since entering the league. After being selected four picks after N’Keal Harry in the 2019 NFL Draft, he has become one of the league’s most dynamic and explosive playmakers. In just 44 career games, he has posted 3,668 yards from scrimmage and scored 23 touchdowns.

With Samuel now looking to depart from the San Francisco organization, is it finally time for the Patriots to correct their mistake? We’ll explore that and more in this week’s #PostPulpit mailbag.

@_p0ck3ts_ Best guess on the cost of trading for Deebo Samuel?

Starting with Samuel. I do not have to sell you on acquiring a player that has Samuel’s talent. He’s everything the Patriots want and need at the wide receiver position. The real issue is the cost plus draft capital it will take to acquire him. Like the recent Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill trades, any team will have to hand over some serious draft capital along with a potential record breaking contract extensions — something that doesn't scream like a Bill Belichick move.

For the Patriots, a trade package will likely start with the No. 21 overall first-round selection in this year’s draft, and likely a second-round pick this year or next. From there, some maneuvering of Day 3 picks would likely take place.

Where things then get interesting is the extension. Looking again towards the recently moved receivers, Hill and Adams signed extensions averaging $30 million and $28 million, respectively. Both players are older than the 26-year-old Samuel. While Deebo might not eclipse their totals, a deal at or north of $25 million per year would be no shock.

Again, while Deebo would be the ideal addition to the Patriots offense, his overall cost works against the team in their current situation. It’s tough to see happen.

@AidenBF56 How much could N’Keal realistically fetch on the trade block.

Let’s stick with some 2019 wide receivers who appear to be on the move. N’Keal Harry’s time with New England has appeared to be running out for some time now, and the expiration date may be even sooner after it appears he was not present at the start of New England’s offseason program.

If the Patriots do move on from Harry, don't expect the return to be much. It will likely be in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection, or perhaps he could be used in a pick swap to move up the board.

Due to Atlanta’s lack of receivers, they seem like a potential team to strike a deal with. If the Patriots want to jump up the board in the sixth-round, perhaps No. 190 for N’Keal Harry and pick No. 200 or 210.

@_knessyy_92 Andrew Booth at 21 or trade up to the teens for Stingley?

Andrew Booth Jr. and Derek Stingley are probably the two best fits at cornerback for the Patriots in this draft. Stingley is the better player and seems like the ideal type of cornerback the Patriots look for in their secondary. If he got within striking distance that the price to move up isn't too detrimental, that would be my choice.

@Max59770609 What late rounder DBs catch your eye the most x

The Patriots will be drafting a cornerback (or two) next week, but what round(s) they decide to do so is up in the air. So, here are some names to watch:

  • Cam Taylor-Britt (Nebraska): Taylor-Britt is one of my favorite Day Two/Three cornerbacks in this draft. The former High School quarterback was primarily used in zone coverages at Nebraska where he could attack the football. However, he did showcase strong man-to-man skills and impressed in press coverage. Where the Patriots would place the gold-star next to Taylor-Britt is his tackling and run defense. He is perhaps the best tackler at the position in the class and can lay the boom like a safety.
  • Marcus Jones (Houston): The word athlete is used to describe Jones. He has elite speed that he uses well in man coverages, but his size (5-foot-8) will likely limit him to the slot. He could be an interesting pair with Jonathan Jones, especially as New England will have to slow down pairs like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle this season.
  • Zyon McCollum (Sam Houston State): Another elite (and I mean ELITE) athlete at the position. McCollum screams like a Patriot corner — a team captain from a non-power five school, who can play press man, and provide special teams value.
  • Josh Jobe (Alabama): I’ll keep this one short and easy; Jobe is a big, extremely physical press-man cornerback from Alabama.
  • Jack Jones (Arizona State): Jones, who has met with New England twice now in the draft process, is an excellent man-to-man corner, but does not have premiere size or length for the perimeter (5-foot-10). He is however, an outstanding athlete along the outside boundary.
  • Josh Williams (Fayetteville State): We already mentioned a non-power five corner, so we have to include a Division Two cornerback, especially after the Kyle Dugger selection. Williams has excellent size (6-foot-2), length, ball skills, and dominated receivers in press man last season. He’ll likely need development time coming from D2, but the potential is there.
  • Akayleb Evans (Missouri): You guessed it by now, a physical, long corner who played lots of press in college. He fits the mold of what teams like New England look for, but may also need some extra development.
  • Chris Steele (USC): Steele may not hear his name called next week, but look for New England to take a chance on him extremely late or in UDFA. There may not be a corner that better fits the Patriots mold, but he remains extremely raw. He’ll need time, but the Patriots have a history of finding diamonds in the rough at this position.

@_JakeTHamilton Given the choice between a blue-chip, day-one starting offensive tackle, or versatile cornerback, which would you take in the first round, seeing as they are two of our biggest needs?

In general, I would say starting offensive tackle. But, in this draft specifically I would lean cornerback. I believe the cornerbacks they would take in the first round (Andrew Booth Jr., Kaiir Elam) are better value than the offensive tackles at that mark (Trevor Penning, Bernhard Raimann).

@PatPatriotMX Any options of a veteran OG that can sign post-draft to compete with a rookie?

The Patriots will likely take a guard, who will have a chance to immediately start, in the mid-rounds of this year’s draft. It should be no surprise if they add another veteran at the position as well.

A name I've been watching since the start of free agency is Oday Aboushi. Aboushi played well for Detroit in 2020 and was impressive last season for the Chargers before tearing his ACL. He feels like a Ted Karras to me — a high-quality backup who can step in and start at any time. He’d be a strong veteran addition that likely would come quite cheap as well.

@MATTSMALLSS Dot you think werr going to sign trey flowers and Hightower back? And use Hightower as edge rusher of some sort?

We’ve also mentioned that the Patriots have yet to address the loss of Kyle Van Noy this offseason. The EDGE defender is a big part of Belichick’s defense and as of now, Ronnie Perkins is the next man up. While Perkins may be a good player, relying on him after what was basically a redshirt season last year may be a risky move. Perhaps New England addresses this need early in the draft with a player like Boye Mafe, but bringing in Trey Flowers would be the ideal move in my opinion. I’d expect to hear more about his market after the draft.

To start, not sure if any of these trades are likely. As we mentioned with Harry, he likely isn't netting anything of value, so dealing him plus moving back eight spots won't receive a third. In Wynn’s case, the team likely won't trade him as tackle is still a position with a huge question mark on it. A.J. Brown is an interesting one, as that package could be close. But, unlike Deebo Samuel, Brown hasn't publicly asked out yet and he’ll also be due for a contract extension.

As for the picks, it’s tough to grade without knowing who else was available. Asamoah is one of the new era linebackers who is an above average athlete but is smaller in size. There are linebackers who I believe would be better fits in the second round if available, however (Leo Chanel, Chad Muma, Christian Harris, etc.). Emerson is another cornerback who could be listed on our list above, as he showed some serious physical play against top receivers in the SEC last year. Pairing him with Marcus Jones would be an interesting addition to the secondary.

One place you lost me in James Cook in the third round. I fully expect the Patriots to add a potential James White suitor in the draft or undrafted free agency, and Cook, who the team met with on a Top 30 visit, would be an intriguing fit. I just don't see them attempting to fill that need before the fifth round.

@sohereswhatino If Devin Lloyd, Jameson Williams and Jordan Davis all fell to 21 ... who would you take, and why? Or would you trade out, knowing that you could probably get some great picks?

If Jordan Davis is there at No. 21 you run that damn card to the podium.

@wazee10 Will the Bruins power play ever get back on track?

The Bruins power play has been absolutely dreadful of late — now 0-for-9 in their last nine games. Missing the lethal one-timer of David Pastrnak obviously hurts, but these struggles have dated back to before Pastrnak’s injury. Since March 1st, they are tied for 30th in the league with just nine power play goals. In that same time span, they rank 22nd in shots, 26th in scoring chances, and 25th in expected goals scored, via Natural Stat Trick. Getting Pastrnak back will obviously help, but the Bruins need their power play to be more opportunistic in the playoffs, especially in the high powered Eastern Conference.

That’s all for this week’s #PostPulpit mailbag. If you have questions you’d liked to be answered next week, submit them on Twitter using #PostPulpit! Make sure to be following @iambrianhines and @PatsPulpit as well!