New England Patriots pick Mike Hughes in latest mock draft
In the latest mock draft from Mel Kiper Jr., the New England Patriots select Central Florida cornerback, Mike Hughes.
Free agency was a roller coaster ride for the New England Patriots. New England suffered a lot of high-profile losses.
Three main contributors offensively, left tackle Nate Solder, running back Dion Lewis and wide receiver Danny Amendola signed elsewhere. Defensively, the Patriots lost cornerback, Malcolm Butler. Safety Duron Harmon is also in legal trouble, further complicating things.
While New England had some big losses, they did well to plug some of those holes via trade and with signings. In two trades with the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots acquired defensive tackle Danny Shelton and cornerback Jason McCourty. From the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots received wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson.
While free agency wasn’t overly nice to New England, they will have a chance to turn things around in the NFL Draft. The draft is a time that Bill Belichick thrives, and he will look to do so again.
Heading into the draft, New England has some needs. The offensive line has to be near the top of that, along with defensive back. With Butler gone and Harmon’s future in limbo, a cornerback or safety could be on the docket. Linebacker is a spot the Patriots could look to upgrade as well.
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The Patriots have the No. 31 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over at ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr. released his third mock draft of the season. In his third mock draft, Kiper has the Patriots selected cornerback Mike Hughes out of Central Florida.
Here is what Kiper had to say about the selection.
"The Patriots lost Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, Cameron Fleming and Danny Amendola, among others, in free agency, and they have more holes in their roster than usual. Are they really expecting veteran Jason McCourty to replace Butler? Former second-round pick Cyrus Jones has barely played in two seasons in New England, so I don’t think he’s the answer. Hughes emerged as a shutdown corner in 2017 and also will help as a punt and kick returner. He had three returns for touchdowns last season. Given Bill Belichick’s history in the draft, the Patriots could trade down to acquire more picks."
The versatility that Hughes would bring is something that is intriguing. The Patriots special teams are in good hands with Patterson and Matt Slater being re-signed, but you can never have too many options on coverage and return teams.
This is the second consecutive mock that Kiper has the Patriots going with a cornerback. In his pre-free agency edition, Kiper mocked LSU cornerback Donte Jackson. Jackson is not mocked to go in the first round of Kiper’s third edition.
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Hughes would be a good addition to the Patriots secondary. Replacing Butler will take a group effort. If the Super Bowl was any indication, it will take quite a bit of effort to replace him. Hughes would be a good option to help do that.