The 2022 NFL season is in full swing, but that still does not prevent people from already looking ahead to the next draft. Obviously, a lot will still change between now and late April but mock draft season has arrived nonetheless.
17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: CB KELEE RINGO, GEORGIA
Renner: Bill Belichick will be chomping at the bit to get a talent like Ringo in his defense with what the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is capable of physically. For his career, Ringo has allowed only 38 catches on 86 targets (44.2%) for 559 yards. He’s a press-man cornerback who can be a matchup weapon in Belichick’s defense.
Despite losing J.C. Jackson in free agency this year, the Patriots’ cornerback group has fared quite well so far this season. Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills have proven themselves a capable starter duo on the outside, while fourth-round rookie Jack Jones has also impressed.
The slot, meanwhile, is manned by Myles Bryant with another rookie — third-rounder Marcus Jones — also contributing in a backup role. Given that mix of veteran talent and youth, New England targeting a cornerback in Round 1 seems somewhat unlikely at this point in time.
Ringo, of course, is a talented player and the dynamics surrounding free agent-to-be Jonathan Jones might force the Patriots’ hand. For now, however, it appears more likely that a position such as offensive tackle will be the focus in April.