Patriots: Mel Kiper reveals ‘gut feel’ pick for New England at No. 15 in 2021 NFL Draft
Mel Kiper Jr. thinks he knows who the Patriots are going to select with the No. 15 pick.
One can hope the New England Patriots have almost all of their ducks in a row before the 2021 NFL Draft. This is arguably the biggest offseason in the Hall of Fame career of Bill Belichick, and with this amount of cap space, a multitude of needs must be addressed.
Let’s say that money is spent on a wide receiver, tight end, offensive lineman, defensive lineman and cornerback. That’s a lot of heavy lifting, but it’s also possible when you have over $60 million to spend. Perhaps it’s best those positions are addressed via free agency because it’s better to have concrete answers rather than prospects when you’re looking to get back into contention.
And speaking of the draft, the Pats hold the No. 15 overall pick, which should give them a prime opportunity to select their signal caller of the future in this deep quarterback class. Mel Kiper Jr. thinks Belichick will take that route and go with Alabama’s Mac Jones.
In Kiper’s first 2021 mock draft, he predicted the Patriots would go quarterback, shirking the high-cost trade options on the market to replace Cam Newton.
And where better to look in the middle of the first round than to Mac Jones, the caretaker signal caller with an extremely impressive pedigree? He even resides along the Belichick pipeline at ‘Bama.
We’d have to agree. The Alabama-New England connection with Belichick and Nick Saban is just too prominent here for us to dismiss this selection. Jones also profiles as the prototypical Patriots quarterback, based on what we’ve seen from Tom Brady over the last 20 years. He’s smart, accurate, holds strong in the pocket, and rarely makes mistakes.
On the surface, it feels more likely Belichick finds his next quarterback in free agency or via trade because, realistically, how much longer can he wait to see this turn around? A rookie quarterback, more times than not, doesn’t really get you into contention until Year 3 when accounting for all the variables.
But if there’s one QB to “take a chance on” in the middle of the first round, it’s certainly Jones. He stepped in seamlessly for Tua Tagovailoa last year and wasted no time in 2020 leading the Crimson Tide to a National Championship victory.
We could sit here and nitpick about his 17 career starts, but how many more did he need to prove to scouts that he’s ready for the next level? Probably none! He appeared in 30 games total and racked up 6,126 yards, 56 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 74.3% completion rate. That’s a QB about as ready as anybody.