Way-too-early seven-round Patriots mock draft – no trades
Adding even more depth to the linebacker room, Mohamoud Diabate stood out to the Patriots during the Shrine Bowl last week and was reportedly one of three New England coaches were reportedly raving about all week.
The former four-star recruit first attended Florida State before transferring to Utah last year. At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, the Patriots were impressed with his incredible athleticism and flexibility in playing inside and outside linebackers.
Diabate would be another new-era linebacker type, bringing the speed and agility the Patriots’ defensive line needs. He’s shown he possesses the skills to be a reliable pass rusher and run stopper, totaling 32 tackles, 13.5 TFL, and five sacks in 12 games during his final season at Utah.
Because the offensive line will remain a priority during the draft, selecting Carter Warren out of Pittsburgh adds significant depth to a currently shaky roster for the Patriots.
Warren is another versatile tackle who has spent most of his career playing left with limited snaps taken on the right side. However, with the departure of Isaiah Wynn and the uncertain future of Trent Brown next season, Warren could be put in a great position to potentially make his way to the 53-man roster with an impressive performance throughout the summer.
At 6-foot-5 and 323 pounds, he adds size and power to the line, using his strength and athleticism to pass protect with the fluidity to reach his blocks successfully.
Unfortunately, due to injury, Warren only suited up for four games in 2022. On those 234 snaps, he allowed three QB hurries, no QB hits, and just one sack.
One of the under-the-radar names that stood out during the Senior Bowl last week was receiver Michael Wilson out of Stanford. An overwhelming amount of those discussing the Patriots’ 2023 draft have voiced their desire to see the team go for a receiver high in the draft, but Michael Wilson may be just the guy at pick 233.
What stands out most about Wilson is his precise route running and ability to separate from defenders, which needed lots of improvement from New England receivers last season. He’s physical with a good release, putting that on display during Senior Bowl practices as he continuously lost cornerbacks throughout the week.
Although his stock was boosted because of his performance last week, injuries are a concern for teams that may be interested in him. His best season came in his sophomore year in 2019, but he only played six or fewer games in each of the following three seasons due to injuries.
However, if all checks out with no long-standing injury issues, Wilson could be a solid piece for the Patriots to work with.
Could there be a more Belichick-ian pick than finishing the draft with a kicker?
Jake Moody is the highest-ranked kicker this year and even won the Lou Groza Award for the top kicker in the country for his performance during the 2021 season. He impressed at the Shrine Bowl last week, specifically with his long-made field goals and two touchbacks.
The Patriots have struggled to find a reliable kicker for a few years, especially the ones they’ve drafted in recent seasons. But they were lucky to have had Nick Folk become what they needed at that time. Because Folk will turn 39 during the 2023 season, it’s time to bring in another young kicker who will hopefully be the guy for years to come.