Final Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft: Building for the future the right way

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Tim Warner/GettyImages
4 of 4

Final 7-round mock draft before Round 1: Patriots build for the future

Round 6, pick No. 180: Isaac Guerendo, RB, Louisville

Because the backfield is set for (at least) the 2024 season with Antonio Gibson and Rhamondre Stevenson, adding another running back isn't near the top of the list. But it shouldn't be an ignored position this year, hence taking the fastest running back of the class in the sixth round.

Isaac Guerendo rose to fame after his unmatched performance during the NFL Combine earlier this year. He recorded the fastest 40-yard dash time of all running backs (4.33 seconds), the best vertical jump (41.50"), the second-best broad jump (10'9"), and the fourth-best 20-yard shuttle time (4.15 seconds).

His speed will inevitably be one of his best attributes, but he's also a tough runner who utilizes his size (6'1", 225lbs.) to hit defenders hard, especially on outside runs.

Guerendo is also a solid pass catcher, recording 22/24 receptions for 234 yards in 2023 on top of 132 carries for 810 yards and 11 total touchdowns.

Round 6, pick No. 193: Justin Eboigbe, EDGE, Alabama

With nearly every depleted offensive position addressed, the Patriots finally swing their focus to the defense to end the draft and select EDGE Justin Eboigbe out of Alabama with pick No. 193.

Although they could really use a wrecking ball pass rusher to join Matthew Judon, Eboigbe thrives on the defensive line, especially as a run defender. That has been a weak spot of the defense in recent years, which he could help continue elevating when on the field.

His size (6'5" 292lbs.) and skillset make him a versatile piece on the defensive line, with PFF stating he can be a viable option as a "zero-shade nose tackle to a five-technique defensive end." That increases his value and fit on the Patriots even more, as they hope to maintain their dominant defense and add guys like Eboigbe to put them really over the top.

Round 7, pick No. 231: Jaylin Simpson, S, Auburn

With their final pick of this year's draft, the Patriots stick with the defense and choose former cornerback turned safety Jaylin Simpson out of Auburn.

With the departures of Jalen Mills and Adrian Phillips and only Jaylinn Hawkins added in free agency, the safety room needs some help, which Simpson could do with more development. He has good speed and fluidity, but because he only transitioned to the position in 2023, his inexperience could be a deterring initial factor for him being utilized immediately.

But that's what comes with being drafted, in general but also late, right?

Simpson has good speed and instincts, which will take him a long way, and has a strong change of direction that isn't easy to teach. He will probably be a project, but with Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers being the veterans to learn from, Simpson would be in excellent hands.

More Patriots coverage: