The New England Patriots are more than just a football team, they’re an American institution. The Pats have been in the Super Bowl for all but one year since 2002 and appear to have no plans on slowing down anytime soon. With that being said, we’ve created our first draft mock of the new season! Take a look at what we think will happen with the Pats taking home their sixth Lombardi Trophy this upcoming September
The “new england patriots 7-round mock draft 2022” is a blog post on what the New England Patriots could do in the upcoming NFL Draft.
New England has a bright future with Mac Jones, but they must work hard to stay up in a packed AFC. Let’s take a look at the Patriots’ NFL Mock Draft for 2022.
The Patriots are coming off a rather good season in 2021, in which they made the playoffs. As a rookie, Mac Jones outperformed the four quarterbacks selected ahead of him in last year’s draft. However, with excellent quarterbacks throughout the AFC, the Patriots will need to fix some gaps before they can be considered Super Bowl contenders again. The Mock Draft Simulator from PFF was used to perform this mock draft.
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LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia, R1/21st selection
Dean fills the inside linebacker position, which is perhaps the Patriots’ most pressing need. According to many observers, the first-team AP All-American is a top-10 pick in this year’s draft. His athleticism makes him a three-down player right away, which should help him adapt smoothly to the pro game. Last year, Dean received a PFF grade of 91.7, giving him the country’s highest-graded linebacker. Dean may have been the greatest player on a National Championship-winning defense with a star-studded defense.
Dean’s stature is the single factor preventing him from making the top ten. He doesn’t have the classic linebacker physique at 5’11” and 225 pounds. He also lacks the great intuition that many diminutive players possess. And who knows, maybe the Dawgs’ star-studded defense made each player seem even better than they are. In the end, you’ll have to nitpick to find anything negative about Dean that isn’t his size. Simply look at his highlights. In New England, he’ll be an immediate starter.
EDGE (R2/54th pick) USC’s Drake Jackson
Drake Jackson, a possible first-round selection, has seen his stock plummet after his season was cut short due to injury. However, this young man has a lot of promise and seems to be growing swiftly. Consider the difference in his PFF pass-rush grade from his sophomore to junior seasons. His 66.7 grade as a sophomore was ordinary. However, in 2021, it increased by more than 20 points to 87.7. He’s got the size and quickness to be a Day 2 choice with a lot of promise.
Jackson is just 20 years old when he enters the draft following his true junior season. He isn’t ready to be a three-down edge rusher right now, but the Steve Belichick/Jerod Mayo coaching tandem has the potential to transform him into a star in a few years. This year, he should be able to play third-down pass rusher opposite Matthew Judon at the very least.
R3/85th pick: Alabama WR John Metchie III
Even after acquiring DeVante Parker in a trade, the Patriots still want wideout assistance. Enter John Metchie III, a former Mac Jones colleague. Metchie III fits the profile of a Patriot slot receiver as a polished route runner who seems to be open at all times. He lacks breakaway speed and won’t be able to overcome corners at the catch point. Despite missing the College Football Playoff and splitting targets with Jameson Williams last year, he caught the eighth most balls in the nation, which is a credit to his route running and aptitude for finding gaps in zones.
As he heals from an ACL rupture, Metchie III may not be ready for a significant role in his first season. Because he lacks a frightening physical skill set, he may be restricted in where he may line up. But, with New England in desperate need of a favorite target for Mac Jones, bringing in an old Alabama friend wouldn’t hurt.
G Thayer Munford, Ohio State, R4/127th selection
Patriots supporters are probably yelling for a cornerback by now. However, offensive line depth is crucial. Ted Karras left New England for free agency, and Shaq Mason was transferred to Tampa Bay. Munford’s addition will provide depth to the team behind expected starters Michael Onwenu and James Farentz. Munford is a mauler at 6’6″ and 328 pounds, and he can win one-on-one battles with his shier strength. He enters the draft as a guard, but he’s played left tackle before, and some evaluators feel a return to tackle is ideal for him. However, New England would most likely attempt to coach him up on the inside as a backup plan in the event of a starter’s injury.
He isn’t the finest run stopper, which is surprising considering his stature. His height might be a disadvantage at times, since his balance can be a problem while moving laterally. He isn’t quite starting material, but once he does, he will be able to contribute.
Tennessee CB Alontae Taylor (R5/158th selection)
Pats fans, here’s your cornerback. Alontae Taylor doesn’t have the size or top-end speed like J.C. Jackson or Stephon Gilmore, but he does have the length and top-end speed to fit the Patriots’ offense. His long arms can knock receivers off the line, and his 4.36 speed allows him to stay step for step with them in man coverage. He also contributes to special teams as a capable shooter.
Taylor might see play right away, since the Patriots’ cornerback group has a lot of unknowns right now. However, in order to get playing time in New England, you must be a willing tackler, and Taylor seemed to be disinterested in messing things up in the Tennessee run game at times.
R5/170th pick: S Markquese Bell, Florida A&M
With his size and physicality, Bell figures to operate more as a box safety in the NFL. He has tremendous speed for the position, but his coverage skills leave something to be desired. He was a leader at Florida A&M, and teammates relied on him to align the defense pre-snap. His football knowledge is an attractive trait that Bill Belichick tends to value highly.
Bell is the ideal prospect to start his career on the practice squad or as a member of the depth chart, learning from players like Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, and Jabril Peppers. Bell can grow for a couple of years before being called upon to play a greater part on defense if he can bring his closing speed and excellent tackling angles to special teams.
S JT Woods, Baylor, R6/200th selection
Here’s the Patriots’ third defensive back in a row. Woods, on the other hand, has a lot of flexibility thanks to his exceptional agility and natural playmaking skills. And if he falls to the 200th pick, like he did here, the Pats will receive a possible Day 2 prospect late in the third round.
He can close to the sideline as a single-high safety or matchup in man versus running backs because to his 4.36 speed. With his 6’2″ size, Woods isn’t a mismatch when it comes to covering tight ends. As seen by his nine interceptions in the previous two seasons, he has strong hands. However, his drive to produce spectacular plays causes him to sometimes botch an assignment.
WR Jaivon Heiligh, Coastal Carolina, R6/210th selection
Back-to-back value selections for the Patriots, with Heiligh’s drop to 210 even more startling than Woods’ drop to 200. This demonstrates the breadth of this receiver class.
Heiligh’s route running features a lot of pace fluctuation, and he’s constantly open, like John Metchie III. He can quickly avoid press attention and is slick on short and intermediate routes. While his speed isn’t very impressive, he might provide another strong slot option for Mac Jones.
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A- on the PFF scale
A common thread among many of these athletes is potential. The Patriots are unlikely to be significant competitors this season, but they do have a talented young quarterback, so a speedy recharge is necessary. While some draft selections may see the field right away, Belichick must consider a year or two down the road with Dean.
The “patriots draft picks 2023” is a mock draft that predicts the New England Patriots’ next NFL Draft picks in 2022.
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