The NFL draft draws closer and the Patriots have an unusually high pick (pick 15) and they can go in any direction. They have been projected to trade up, trade back, and stay where they are. So who are some (realistic targets) for the Patriots if they stay at 15? Who are some good 2nd-7th round picks that they can grab? Only Bill Belichick knows for sure, but here are some guys that I like. To help me with the prospect picks is my friend and a draft fanatic, Mike Ciccketti.
1st round prospect #1: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Comparison: Jimmy Garoppolo
Mike’s analysis: A safe pick and a game manager, with a high football IQ and great decision making coming from a pro-style offense. However, he isn’t very mobile and has an average arm and can panic against elite defensive lines.
1st round prospect #2: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Comparison: Tyreek Hill
Mike’s analysis: Another Alabama prospect, Waddle has elite speed and experience as an outside receiver and in the slot. He isn’t afraid of contact and will give everything to make the catch and sure hands. Waddle is smaller and cannot block downfield and he also has trouble slowing down on intermediate routes.
1st round prospect: #3 Micah Parsons, LB, Penn St.
Comparison: Myles Jack
Mike’s analysis: Parsons is an efficient tackler with a wide tackle radius and has a very high motor with high effort. He’s great at sniffing out the run and is speedy for his size. he’s a leader and plays by example as well. In order to become even more well rounded he must improve his pass coverage.
1st round prospect #4: Jaelan Phillips, EDGE, Miami
Comparison: Maxx Crosby
Mike’s analysis: He’s extremely effective as a 4-3 defensive end and has the versatility to be an outside linebacker. He is a larger rusher, but has tremendous speed and flexibility and has a high football IQ to pair with a high motor. His biggest weakness is his injuries and he may fall to round to the 2nd round because of it.
1st round prospect #5: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Comparison: Justin Jefferson
Mike’s analysis: He has a long catch radius and can quickly and easily secure the ball from anywhere. His route running is okay and his speed keeps defenses honest. He’s inexperienced in run blocking and below average ball tracking skills on deep throws too.
Steal prospect #1: Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
Comparison: Josh Dobbs
Mike’s analysis: A good pro-style, project quarterback who can be dangerous if developed properly (Belichick loves a project) with a decent arm and good mobility. He has a tendency to make questionable throws downfield and hopes his receivers will bail him out.
Steal prospect #2; Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida St.
Comparison: Mackensie Alexander
Mike’s analysis: He can hold own in man coverage and is a sure tackler despite his size. He’s a keen run defender and has the versatility to play in the slot. However he is extremely inconsistent in zone coverage and can be slow to track the ball.
Steal prospect #3: Dyami Brown, WR, North carolina
Comparison: Paul Richardson
Mike’s analysis: An excellent vertical route runner and creates separation easily. can make route adjustments on the fly and is deadly after the catch. Unfortunately, he may struggle to expand his route tree at the NFL level and he needs more experience running different routes.
Steal prospect #4: Khyiris Tonga, DT, BYU
Comparison: Leki Fotu
Mike’s analysis: He has a giant build and reacts quickly in the run game. Able to push the pocket and pancakes lineman with ease. He struggles to shed blocks and has few push rush moves and his weight limits his mobility and has trouble against giant offensive lineman as well.
Steal prospect #5: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo
Comparison: Devonta Freeman
Mike’s analysis: He doesn’t waste time behind the line and has good vision for his size. He has good balance and can run through defenders. His speed is below average and his acceleration leaves something to be desired.
The draft is 4/29/21 and I can’t wait to see who we draft, we’ll just have to wait with bated breath until then. Who will the Pats select?
A big thank you to Mike Ciccketti for helping me this this.