Maurice Jones-Drew first round mock draft has Patriots taking this player
The New England Patriots dedicated time this offseason to upgrading their coaching staff by hiring Bill O’Brien as the offensive coordinator and Adrian Klemm as the offensive line coach.
With the NFL Draft coming up on Thursday, it’s time for New England to upgrade their roster through the draft and revamp their depth chart.
Former NFL running back turned analyst Maurice Jones-Drew, shared his first-round mock draft picks, and some of these selections are surprising yet accurate regarding team needs and the best players on the board.
MJD has the Patriots selecting Devon Witherspoon, a top cornerback out of Illinois. He’s 5-foot-11, 181 lbs, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds. Here’s how MJD sees the first 13 picks playing out for New England to land Witherspoon 14th overall.
The NFL Network analyst predicts the first three picks will all be quarterbacks, going to Carolina, Houston, and Indianapolis; Anthony Richardson, CJ Stroud, Bryce Young.
The following five picks (4-8) are all defensive, with three defensive ends, one defensive tackle, and a corner, going to Arizona, Seattle, Detroit, Las Vegas, and Atlanta; Tyree Wilson, Will Anderson Jr, Jalen Carter, Christian Gonzalez, Myles Murphy.
The next five picks (9-13) are all offensive, with two offensive linemen, a running back, a quarterback, and a wide receiver. Peter Skornonski, Bijan Robinson, Will Levis, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, O’Cyrus Torrence.
Here’s a recap of the first 13 draft picks before the Patriots are on the clock at No. 14:
- Anthony Richardson, QB, Carolina Panthers
- CJ Stroud, QB, Houston Texans
- Bryce Young, QB, Indianapolis Colts
- Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals
- Will Anderson Jr, EDGE, Seattle Seahawks
- Jalen Carter, DT, Detroit Lions
- Christian Gonzalez, CB, Las Vegas Raiders
- Myles Murphy, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons
- Peter Skoronski, OL, Chicago Bears
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Houston Texans
- O’Cyrus Torrence, OL, New York Jets
- Devon Witherspoon, CB, New England Patriots
Using MJD’s draft logic, there will be players available to the Patriots that they weren’t expecting to drop as far as 14. Players like wide receiver Zay Flowers and offensive tackles Paris Johnson Jr, Broderick Jones, and Darnell Wright.
With the number of offensive tackles in this draft, the Patriots will likely target another position of need, perhaps a linebacker or cornerback, in the first round. Like MJD, I had the Patriots taking a corner in the first round in my mock draft. However, it was Deonte Banks out of Maryland, who would also be available at No.14 in MJD’s mock draft.
In a previous evaluation, I predicted the Patriots to trade up to select Tyree Wilson, arguably the top edge linebacker in the draft. MJD has Wilson going in the top-four to Arizona, also suggesting a team will trade up to draft Wilson. I believe Wilson is the only player in this draft the Patriots would trade up to make this selection.
The most intriguing part I saw in MJD’s mock draft is that Hendon Hooker would be available to the Patriots.
I wouldn’t suggest the Pats are interested in drafting another quarterback in the first round after taking Mac Jones just three years ago. But after what transpired in Foxborough last week when the Patriots hosted a Top-30 visit with a top quarterback in this draft, it’s hard to rule out a first-round quarterback selection, especially after the recent comments from Patriots Director of Player Personnel, Matt Groh.
It’s worth mentioning that Bill Belichick passed on drafting a franchise-altering, elite quarterback in 2018 by skipping out on Lamar Jackson. I don’t think Belichick will make a mistake like that again, so if Hooker is available, don’t be surprised if the Pats draft him or even find a way to trade back into the first round to draft him if he continues to drop.
However the board looks by the time the Patriots are on the clock, we should feel confident about whoever they end up drafting. There’s a lot of talent in this draft, and the Patriots have many holes to fill or upgrade.