Round 6 (No. 184 Overall): Jadon Haselwood, WR, Arkansas
The Patriots need more talent at the wide receiver position, it’s no secret, and there will likely be more than one receiver drafted by them this year. However, I expect the Pats to use their first-round pick on a top wide receiver in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, so at this point in the draft, New England should select a wide receiver, and if Jadon Haselwood is on the board, they should take him.
Haselwood is a 6’2”, 215 lbs. field spacer with an expert knack for finding open windows in defenses. He’s not the fastest guy by any means, but he can run routes and catch passes, averaging 11.9 yards per reception for his career. He transferred from Oklahoma to Arkansas for his senior season. However, he averaged 13.6 yards per reception over his first three seasons at Oklahoma.
What stands out about Haselwood from his film is that he isn’t afraid of defenses and is a high-possession receiver; those 50/50 balls look good going his way. He understands how to run routes properly and is a quick learner, as he finished with 702 receiving yards in his first season with Arkansas. The game clicks for Haselwood at the right time; he reads defenses well and always looks for his quarterback.
Round 6 (No. 187 Overall): Nic Jones, CB, Ball State
The Patriots could use some new faces in their cornerback position. In this mock, I have the Pats selecting Deonte Banks in the second round out of Maryland. The bottom end of the cornerback depth chart is Shaun Wade, Rodney Randle Jr., and Quandre Mosley; needless to say, it’s an unimpressive bunch.
At 6’0” tall, 189 lbs. Nic Jones is a great football player, and it would be an absolute steal for any team to draft him in the sixth round. He has the footwork and skills to mirror his receiver and stay in tune with them.
Jones ran the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds and finished his 20-yard shuttle in 4.34 seconds. He’s solid in press coverage and doesn’t often get beat from the point of attack.
Round 7 (235 Overall): Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
The Patriots had lacked production at tight end since 2018, when Rob Gronkowski retired from the team. Although, they took a big swing in signing top free agents Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith in 2021, intending to bolster the position and upgrade the offense entirely.
Henry has been great, despite feeling the impacts of an incompetent offensive play-caller last season. Smith looked lost during his time in New England, as he’s no longer with them.
A prototypical Patriots tight end, Luke Schoonmaker out of Michigan is 6’5″ tall, 265 lbs. versatile tight end who can play in any set and just about immediately once drafted. He finished his career making 54 receptions for 637 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He’s patient in the passing game and finds open windows and lanes for himself, averaging 11.8 yards per reception in his career.
With the addition of Mike Gesicki and pairing him with Henry, the Patriots have a versatile duo, the addition of Schoonmaker would give the Patriots a legit three-headed monster of a tight-end group.
Schoonmaker is ready to go from day one and will be able to provide a multitude of services. If he’s still available at this point, he must be taken. He’s definitely a name to remember in the draft.