Looking ahead, 2025 Patriots Mock Draft, filling in the blanks

Pats again draft to fill needs, especially if key 2025 free agents leave
Kentucky v Georgia
Kentucky v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The 2024 offseason is in the books. Free agency is over and the draft is completed. Now it's just some odds and ends to get the roster set for the upcoming season. Two major factors among others enter into any prospective equation for the 2025 draft.

One is the situation with the New England Patriots' potential free agents in 2025. At present, there are about 27 possible free agents. Many aren't noteworthy but a few are. Their leaving would be significant and steps would have to be taken either in free agency or the draft to get the impacted positions up to speed.

This mock draft will consider those potentialities in making the picks. The thought here is it's never too early to undertake a mock draft in light of the current situation on the team, and possibly next offseason's free agency defections.

Note: Thanks to profootballnetwork.com for the use of their 2025 Mock Draft Simulator.

Round One, Patriots go for need at DT

The Patriots' overarching need remains the left tackle position which they again neglected to fill in the 2024 free agency or the 2024 draft. It was Eliot Wolf's biggest off-season gaffe and will likely negatively impact the entire 2024 campaign. His wishful thinking that he can use a journeyman or convert a right tackle to fill that need is an illusion.

In this mock draft simulation, that is a consideration, since the simulator projects the team to be terrible, again landing the third pick overall as a result. So much for improvement and the prospect of a winning season. In any event, Let's Go! and draft!

With the offensive tackle position in the 2025 draft not nearly as strong as in 2024, taking an OLT at pick No. three would be a huge reach. A trade-down would be likely, and the suggested scenario for the Pats here. But, since no satisfactory trade offers emerged, the choice is a defensive tackle and a big one.

With Davon Godchaux a free agent, a big run-stuffing defensive tackle is a solid selection. The Pats get one in Kentucky's 6'6" tall, and 350-pound massive DT, Deone Walker. Here's what ukathletics.com has to say about the huge tackle,

"Walker, a 6-foot-6, 330-pounder from Detroit, has started in 24 of 25 career games, including 23 straight for the Wildcats. Because of his size and physicality, he has been an absolute force on the defensive line. This season, he finished the regular season with 51 tackles, most for a UK interior lineman since Cory Johnson in 2015.  Walker totaled a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss, a team-high 5.5 sacks, and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. He also had two pass breakups, one of which led to an interception."

This pick further bolsters the defensive interior that already has two premier young defensive linemen in Christian Barmore and Keion White. Adding Walker gives the Pats a stellar trio of big, young DTs who can ruin your Sunday in any number of ways.

Rounds two and three, an offensive tackle and an outside linebacker added

In the second round, Wolf trades down three picks with the Giants and gets their pick No. 38, and a 2026 third-rounder. With pick No. 38, Wolf goes to the well finally for a player who can fit in at offensive left tackle. It's Jonah Savaiinaea, a 6'5", 330-pound tackle from Arizona.

Savaiinaea played on the right side with top OLT Jordan Morgan on the team in 2023. Expect him to slide over to the left this season, and be ready to anchor the Patriots' offensive line in the future. Finally, after years of neglect, the Patriots have drafted an offensive left tackle.

In the third round, continuing to draft for need, the Patriots add to the edge position and select Alabama's 6'3", 230-pound outside linebacker, Deonte Lawson. With Matt Judon and Josh Uche free agents after the season (expect Judon to be signed to an extension), they will need to bolster the outside LB/edge position.

nfldraftbuzz.com comments on Lawson's 2023 season,

"In 2023 as a junior Lawson played in 10 games and contributed on 603 snaps. He recorded 49 tackles, 20 assists while making 43 stops. In coverage Lawson chalked up 3 pass breakups, no interceptions, and QB rating when targetted of 101.9. As a pass rusher, he produced 20 total pressures, which included 13 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and 4 sacks on the year."

Expect him to better those numbers in 2024 to warrant that Day Two pick by the Patriots. In the next rounds, the Pats continue to add to positions that could be impacted by free agency. Another is the safety position, with Jabrill Peppers, their top hybrid safety/linebacker a free agent.

Rounds four and five bring a free safety and a tight end

In the fourth round, the Patriots deviate from the norm a bit and select safety but not a box safety. Rather, they select ball-hawking Oklahoma safety, the 5'11", and 194-pound free safety Billy Bowman. Bowman had an impressive six interceptions in 2023 and returned three of them for TDs. He's just what the team needs, a top centerfielder in the deep backfield.

With their next pick No, 134 in round five, the Patriots add more youth to the tight end room, since stop-gap free agent acquisition, Austin Hooper, is only on a one-year deal. They select Clemson Tiger tight end, Jake Briningstool, a 6'6', 230-pound giant.

Briningstool can catch it. He had 50 grabs for 498 yards and five touchdowns in 2023 and will be another big target in 2025, for this year's presumptive starting QB, Drake Maye to add to Hunter Henry. As a big in-line type, Jake will also nicely complement one of 2024's most intriguing picks, the smaller H-back type, Jaheim Bell. Bell may have fallen in the draft due to his size and profile as an H-back, but he may surprise nonetheless.

With no sixth-round pick, the Pats' three round-seven picks wrap things up

The Pats' next pick is pick No. 194 in the seventh round. Here they stay on course and draft for current or potential needs. This time it's a running back with a different profile. He's a small, 5'9" tall, 185-pound blazingly fast scatback, Jaylin Lucas from Florida State. si.com comments on Lucas' claim on his forty-yard dash time,

"With a self-claimed 4.29 40-yard dash, Lucas is up there with former FSU great Deion Sanders who ran an official 4.27 during the 1989 NFL Combine. While speed in the return game is the only comparison between the two, both have been talented specialists during their college careers."

Selecting a back makes sense since Rhamondre Stevenson is a free agent after this season. The thought here is that Wolf will re-sign Stevenson as he recently did Christian Barmore. Nevertheless, adding to the position makes sense, especially for a player whose game-breaking speed will be a great change-of-pace from the bulldozing Stevenson.

With their second pick in the seventh, pick No. 195, the Pats select Oregon defensive tackle, Jamaree Caldwell, a 6'1" tall, 325 mauler. Ducks' Head Coach Dan Lanning says the player has, "Explosive power and speed...", always a nice combination.

With their final pick No. 210, the Pats select Spencer Brown, a 6'6" swing offensive tackle from Oklahoma who played primarily on the right at Michigan State before transferring. He'll add more young depth and competition to a position that always needs it.

So there is the first 2025 Mock Draft from here. There's no off-season for mock drafts for those who understand that drafting is an essential component of off-season team-building and shouldn't be ignored at any time during the year.

Eliot Wolf (assuming he's still in charge) continues one of his most positive 2024 draft attributes, drafting the best player available (then, it was on offense) at a position of need. That's half the battle. Wolf did fairly well in 2024 drafting that way (though he could have done better). It will serve him and the team well in 2025 if he continues along that path, and completes a draft like this.