It was a busy Thursday night for the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, as they made one trade and selected UT Chattanooga’s guard Cole Strange. Now, the attention turns to rounds two through three Friday night.
If anything, the Patriots have plenty of ammo to work with — especially after acquiring the 94th and 121st overall selection from Kansas City last night. Currently, New England is set to have three picks Friday night, No. 54, 85, and 94. The Patriots could look to move up like last year, when they traded their 46th, 122nd and 139th picks to move up to 38th overall to select Christian Barmore.
So, if you thought mock drafts were over, think again. Let’s take a stab at predicting what’s in store for the Patriots on day two.
2nd round, 54th overall: S Jalen Pitre, Baylor
After assessing their offensive line needs in round one, the Patriots add an athlete to their defense with their first pick on Friday. Pitre would be an excellent addition to the Patriots backend, especially if they pursue a more position-less approach. Over his Baylor career, Pitre lined up everywhere from in the slot, in the box, as a deep safety, and even along the edge. He’s an extremely strong tackler as well. Pitre has all the capabilities of becoming Belichick’s next great defensive chess piece.
TRADE: New England trades 3-85 and 4-121 to Houston for 3-68
With a pair of third- and fourth-round picks now in their back pocket, the Patriots call buddy Nick Caserio yet again, packaging one of each to move back up. According to Rich Hill’s trade value chart, the Patriots slightly overpay (a usual requirement for team’s moving up) 75 to 73.
2nd round, 68th overall: WR John Metchie III, Alabama
Let’s not overcomplicate things here and pair Mac Jones with his former college receiver.
Metchie has everything the Patriots like in a wide receiver — an elite, diverse route runner, separator, and big play threat any time he touches the ball. He’s a versatile option in the passing game who projects as a Z or slot receiver who can make plays in the short game and down the field. Also, Nick Saban is extremely high on his former receiver, calling him the epitome of what a wide receiver is.
His timeline is still up in the air after suffering a torn ACL in the SEC Championship, but he’s certainly worth the wait. As he said himself, “Mac 10 and I would be special.”
3rd round, 94th overall: CB Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State
The Patriots finally add a cornerback as they take their second defensive back of the day. McCollum screams of a Patriot pick, coming from a non-power five school and showcasing his freakish athleticism at the combine (Relative Athletic Score: 9.99) while also attending the Senior Bowl.
At Sam Houston State, McCollum used his 6-foot-2, 199-pound frame and physical traits to dominate the opposition — often in press-man coverage. He’d be a great addition to New England’s backend as they continue to search for talented athletes.