While there are some holes that need to be filled at quarterback and wide receiver, expect Bill Belichick to use the New England Patriots draft as a reason to stock up on some defensive talent like Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
While he opted out of the 2020 season, that did little to dent his NFL stock.
Despite a crowded class that features the likes of Tulsa’s Zaven Collins, Notre Dame’s Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and Missouri’s Nick Bolton, Parsons stands head and shoulders above the rest.
The 6-2, 245-pound Nittany Lion recorded 109 tackles, 14 of which went for a loss, and five sacks in 2019, all the while showing off excellent coverage ability.
While Parsons looks like a perfect player for a New England defense that asks a lot of their middle linebackers, the odds he’s still on the board by the time the Patriots pick at No. 15 are minuscule. However, if Belichick is in a gambling mood, he could look to move into the top 10 and take the Penn State linebacker.
Considering how he’s earning comparisons to players like Jamal Adams despite weighing 30 more pounds, Parsons is a true unicorn that could start right away in the pros.
Getting Micah Parsons could make the Patriots draft a home run.
The presence of second-round pick Josh Uche and fourth-round pick Anfernee Jennings might make the Parsons pick a peculiar one, but there’s room for another great linebacker on this team. With Jennings looking more like a situational pass rusher and Uche far from an established product, Parsons could be a building block in the middle of this defense.
Not only is Parsons one of the best run-defenders at his position, but he has not allowed a touchdown in coverage during his final two seasons with Penn State. With both Parsons and Uche in possession of insane speed for their size, more than enough physicality, and the ability to both drop back in coverage and fight at the line of scrimmage, the fit is a match made in heaven.
New England has a lot of holes on this roster. However, they have tons of cap space with which they can address the offense. Adding a player like Parsons is an opportunity New England might not get again when you look at the other talent in this draft.
When the Patriots drafted Dont’a Hightower and Jamie Collins in consecutive seasons, they laid the groundwork for one of the league’s most dominant defenses. Repeating that strategy once more could pair Parsons with Uche for the next decade. As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed, fast, versatile linebackers can help lead a defense to a championship.