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Pat Lane’s 7-round mock draft 4.0: Trade-happy Patriots add several instant starters

The Patriots get better from both rookies and veterans in this mock draft.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The calendar has flipped to April, which means it is officially draft month. So, what better time for another mock draft?

Let’s jump right into our fourth version of a seven-round New England Patriots projection — one that features plenty of trades.

Pat Lane’s seven-round mock draft Version 1.0 | Version 2.0 | Version 3.0

Round 1

TRADE: 1-14 and 6-192 to New York Giants for 1-25, 2-57, and 3-89: The Patriots need a playmaker, but with a lot of talent still on the board at No. 14 overall they move back 11 spots and pick up a pair of Day 2 picks. In a draft with so much depth at important positions, that’s a great tradeoff.

1-25: CB Deonte Banks (Maryland): Banks isn’t one of the top three cornerbacks that everyone has been talking about this draft season, but he has a good case to be in the conversation. He’s a fit for the Patriots because of his fantastic tackling ability, and his man coverage skills. He also blew up the combine with a 42” vertical jump, and an 11’4” broad jump, combined with a 4.35-second 40-yard dash.

The athleticism, combined with his tackling ability and coverage skills, should make him an instant starter for the Patriots at outside corner.

I had to get a breakdown from Josh on here. This thread gives a full breakdown of Banks:

And now a highlight, so you can see him dominate a helpless receiver:

Round 2

TRADE: 2-57, 4-117, and 2024 4th to Las Vegas Raiders for 2-37: Freshly equipped with some new capital from their Day 1 trade-down, the Patriots move up the board again to go defense for a second straight pick.

2-37: LB Jack Campbell (Iowa): The Patriots have been looking for a super-athletic linebacker to play the middle of the field for quite some time, and they haven’t been able to find that guy. Getting someone who is a sure tackler, but also is athletic enough to go sideline to sideline and cover tight ends or backs out of the backfield would be quite a boost for the Patriots defense, and that’s exactly what Campbell can do.

He’s 6-foot-5, 249 pounds, and ran a 6.74-second three-cone drill at the combine. Pair that with a 4.24-second short shuttle, and a 37.5-inch vertical, and you get an athlete who can play off the ball — one the Patriots haven’t had since Dont’a Hightower’s heyday.

TRADE: 2-46, 4-135 to Denver Broncos for WR Jerry Jeudy: The Patriots need a No. 1 receiver, and Jerry Jeudy can be that guy. He played with Mac Jones in college, and will be only 24 this year. Insert him into the offense, and the Patriots become a top-10 unit in the NFL. Because of their first-round trade-back, the Patriots still hold enough picks that this move doesn’t wipe out the talent that they can acquire in the draft as well.

Round 3

3-76: OT Matthew Bergeron (Syracuse): The Patriots are in need of a tackle on both the right and left side of the line. Bergeron has experience playing both spots, and the size and athleticism to play either tackle position at the next level.

Heading into the season, the Patriots have players at both tackle position that could be starters. Having someone like Bergeron who can play both spots will a) give them good insurance, and b) allow for some long-term stability at a crucial position.

3-89: EDGE Isaiah McGuire (Missouri): Predicting the type of player the Patriots will be interested in to play the edge for them is a difficult task. They have gone after bigger players, and they have gone after smaller, quicker players. McGuire is a decent mix of both.

He’s not the most explosive player in the draft, but he does bring some good athleticism, while also being 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds. His sack numbers haven’t been gaudy, but he has had generated 72 total quarterback pressures over the last two seasons. He’s also a solid tackler who has the ability to play all three downs.

That sounds like a guy the Patriots would love to have on their team.

Round 4

4-107: OL Tyler Steen (Alabama): As noted above, the Patriots need multiple players who can play the offensive tackle position. This time, they tab Steen as their man.

Steen transferred from Vanderbilt to Alabama this season, and brings some true position flexibility. The biggest question about him is his arm length, as his arms are just a shade under 33 inches, which should push him down the draft board a bit. The Patriots have shown that they have no problem taking on guys like that, however, and if they decide to kick him inside they can also use the depth he could provide at guard.

Round 6

6-184: CB Terell Smith (Minnesota): I know that the Patriots took a corner in the first round, but size is something that they don’t have at the position right now. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Smith would give them just that.

Smith has the size and athleticism to play outside corner in the NFL, and he’s a willing tackler. He’s going to need some polish, and his hands could really use some work, but it’s a good shot to take in the sixth round.

6-187: QB Max Duggan (TCU): Is Max Duggan an elite QB talent? No, but he put together some really good tape at TCU. The Patriots don’t need a starting QB right now, but taking a chance on a late-round project is something from which they can only benefit.

Duggan brings good enough athleticism, as he has shown the ability to run the ball at TCU. His arm isn’t the strongest, but getting anything from a late-round flier would be a plus to begin with. I’m down with betting on the production in college wasn’t a fluke, and that Duggan can end up being a decent player in the league.

6-210: TE Brenton Strange (Penn State): The Patriots added Mike Gesicki to the tight end room this offseason, but they’re still looking for a more typical in-line blocker at the position. Strange could be that type of guy.

His arms aren’t as long as you would like, but he’s strong as a bull, and is a great pound-for-pound blocker. He’s far from the best athlete at the position, but he specializes in what the Patriots need, and would be a good dart throw for them late on Day 3.

Round 7

7-245: K Noah Ruggles (Ohio State): Ruggles is, unfortunately, going to be remembered for the kick that he missed, namely the potential game-winner against Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Of course, he won the Rose Bowl on a last-second field goal last season. He also has the highest field goal percentage in Ohio State history.

So, yes, his last kick might be the most memorable for all the wrong reasons, but even the best kickers miss kicks. I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on a kicker as accurate as Ruggles.

So, there you have it. The Patriots make a bunch of trades on the first two days of the draft, and pick up several guys who will most likely be starting for them from Day 1.

What do you think of the draft? Vote below!


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