The Patriots seem to have narrowed their focus on what position to take with their first-round pick.
It’s officially April, which means the NFL Draft will be soon approaching later this month. As we get closer to the end of the month, there should be no shortage of draft rumors and developments for the Patriots in the coming weeks.
Those rumors have already started, as recent reports indicate that New England has a specific focus on two positional groups to draft in the first round.
Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston discussed some of the Patriots’ draft news on his “Next Pats” earlier this week, saying that the Patriots seem to be addressing wide receivers or cornerbacks in the first, whether that be at pick 14 or possibly trading back in the first to select one later.
Perry says, “Having conversations with people around the league of late, the buzz seems to be that we should be focused in on the cornerback position and the receiver spot when it comes to the Patriots.”
He also says it is due to some of the top tackle prospects being taken early off the board, preventing the Patriots from finding one worthy of using a first-rounder on, “And you may be sitting there saying, ‘Well, those are the spots we’ve already been focused on.’ Well, there’s a position that I’m leaving out for now, and I’ll just say that — for now.”
Perry continues, “And it’s the tackle spot. And the reason I say that is just a few of the notes that have made their way to me … I’m not sure it’s the strongest tackle class. And, by the time the Patriots are on the board at 14, who will be available?”
Players such as Paris Johnson and Peter Skoronski are a few of the highly-touted offensive line prospects that could be selected in the few picks leading up to New England.
Therefore, this would put them in a situation to target high-end WRs and CBs potentially available where they’re drafting.
Prospects such as Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, Devon Witherspoon, and Joey Porter are all players that seem to be available around 14, and all players that could be in play for New England.
Being that the Patriots have lacked true top-tier receiver talent for years, as well as losing former DPOY Stephon Gilmore and All-Pro J.C. Jackson in the past few seasons at corner, the decision to look at WR and CB in the draft should be a good one.