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NFL mock draft: Todd McShay believes Patriots will go cornerback in first round

New England has a need at the position.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Michigan State at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite selecting two cornerbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots might have to do so again this spring. The team’s future at the position, after all, still remains uncertain with a) Jonathan Jones a free agent and b) Jack Jones ending his otherwise promising rookie year with a team suspension.

Accordingly, it would note be a surprise to see New England address the position early in this year’s draft — a scenario ESPN’s Todd McShay is predicting in his latest mock:

14. New England Patriots

Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

With Jonathan Jones now a free agent, cornerback seems like a very possible Day 1 target for the Pats — especially if none have come off the board by the time they pick. Porter had only one career interception at Penn State (in 2021), but he broke up 11 passes last season. He has length and plays a physical brand of football, rerouting receivers off the line of scrimmage and outmuscling them on 50-50 balls despite weighing just 198 pounds.

The son of former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter is one of the better cornerback prospects available this year and projects as a Day 1 starter. Not only does he offer intriguing length at 6-foot-2, he also brings a physical edge to the position — something New England certainly is looking for in its defensive backs.

With the team set to pick at No. 14 overall, Porter Jr. very well could be available. If so, he’d be an intriguing addition to the team as a potential future CB1.