The New England Patriots could conceivably take a cornerback in the 2022 NFL Draft given the uncertainty around JC Jackson, but many mock draft prognosticators have them going for a wide receiver in the first round with the aim of giving Mac Jones as much support as possible.
Jones needs more help at receiver, as a group led by Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers (while still serviceable) is not close to being classified as elite. Luckily for New England, they picked an amazing year to need some offense-changing perimeter talent given all of the quality players.
While this draft has generally been mocked for the lack of elite quarterback prospects, the class is teeming with standout cornerbacks and receivers. If the Patriots are fortunate enough, a player many consider to be the best receiver in the class could fall right into their laps.
The latest mock draft from CBS Sports had the Patriots selecting USC wide receiver Drake London. While the Trojans had a down year, London was one of the few bright spots. With some luck and fine-tuning, the Patriots could end up snagging arguably the best wide receiver in the class.
Will the New England Patriots draft USC’s Drake London?
While London’s final season was cut short, he was clearly the best receiver in the Pac-12 by a wide margin. While Garrett Wilson might be a better route-runner and Jameson Williams might have more speed, London has the best ball skills of any of the top receivers.
With solid short-area quickness, soft hands, the ability to make people miss as a ball-carrier, and consistent production whenever the Trojans played an elite opponent, London checks a ton of the boxes New England would want to see from an X receiver. Playing time as a rookie will be a foregone conclusion.
Most of the concerns outside of his long speed around London relate to his body. Not only will his somewhat slight 215-pound frame draw some questions given the fact he’s 6-5, but he ended his final year in LA with an injury. Those physical concerns might lead to a slight fall come April.
Some fans might be a bit trepidatious about drafting a receiver because of failures like N’Keal Harry in the last few years. Where London differs, however, is the fact that he should have a much lower floor and higher ceiling despite his body. London could eventually become Jones’ No. 1 target.