NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS NFL DRAFT PLAN OF ATTACK
QB, WR, OT, TE, DE, LB, CB
FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS:
DT Beau Allen, WR Damiere Byrd, S Devin McCourty, S Adrian Phillips, WR Matthew Slater, G Joe Thuney (franchised), FB Danny Vitale
FREE AGENT LOSSES:
QB Tom Brady, WR Phillip Dorsett, TE Ben Watson, G Ted Karras, DT Danny Shelton, LB Elandon Roberts, OLB Jamie Collins, OLB Kyle Van Noy, S Duron Harmon, K Stephen Gostkowski
ROUND 1 TARGETS:
WR Denzel Mims, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Brandon Aiyuk, OT Austin Jackson, OT Josh Jones, DE A.J. Epenesa, DE Yetur Gross-Matos, QB Jordan Love, LB Patrick Queen, LB Kenneth Murray
ROUND 2 TARGETS:
Pick traded for Mohamed Sanu (seriously)
ROUND 3 TARGETS:
WR K.J. Hill, WR Van Jefferson, WR Collin Johnson, WR Chae Claypool, WR Bryan Edwards, CB Amik Robertson, CB Cameron Dantzler, CB Troy Pride Jr., CB Bryce Hall, CB Michael Ojemudia, OT Ben Bartch, OT Price Tega-Wanogho, TE Brycen Hopkins, TE Adam Trautman, TE Thaddeus Moss, TE Hunter Bryant
PLAN OF ATTACK:
In Round 1 the Patriots should be hoping and praying Jordan Love is still on the board. They are currently planning on heading into the 2020 season with their quarterbacks being Jarret Stidham and Brian Hoyer. That doesn’t seem like a great plan on paper. Love can make plays with his legs and has a strong and accurate arm. He does need some polishing up and perhaps wouldn’t start right away in his career, but maybe after the Patriots start 0-4, he’ll get his chance. If Love is gone, like he should be the Patriots could go a few different ways. They could reach for a quarterback like Jalen Hurts or Jacob Eason but Bill Belichick is an arrogant fella and probably thinks he can win with Stidham and Hoyer. So they could go with a linebacker. The Patriots need help in the middle of their defense and could look at Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray. He’s a tackling machine and could essentially put up numbers that would put him in contention for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Patriots also need help on the defensive line and could look at Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa. Epenesa is a better football player than athlete, but does have a high motor. He is the type of player Bill Belichick loves and would be a great fit in New England.
The Patriots have three choices in the third round and will look to fill some holes. They need a new tight end as there depth chart is extremely sickening to look at. It’s worth wondering if the team would bring in Randy’s boy Thaddeus Moss. At this point, he’s a better blocker than receiver but has Moss genes, and that is an aspect that could emerge with proper coaching. Other tight ends they could consider would be Albert Okwuegbunam, Hunter Bryant, and Adam Trautman.
The Pats could grab a linebacker here too. Malik Harrison from Ohio State would make a lot of sense. He’s a big hitter who wraps up well. His pass coverage skills have improved in recent seasons and he should be seen as a three-down linebacker in the NFL. The Patriots could also grab a receiver for some depth. Bryan Edwards from South Carolina is one option. He’s got a nice combination of size and speed and could be worked into the Pats receiver rotation early in his career.
The Patriots could also still look for that quarterback. If they wait until round three Jake Fromm could be the best option. He could be a nice fit as he’s extremely smart and doesn’t put the ball in bad spots. He isn’t a great overall athlete but neither was Tom Brady. The Patriots could also grab a young cornerback like Amik Robertson or Michael Ojemudia as they need youth at that position. Looking at Belichick’s draft history, it’s not hard to imagine him packaging some of these third-round choices to move up and target a player he loves in the second round.
Round 1:AJ Epenesa, DE Iowa
Round 2: Mohamed Sanu, WR Falcons
Round 3: Malik Harrison LB, Ohio State
Round 3: Michael Ojemudia, Iowa
Round 3: Thaddeus Moss TE, LSU