Mock Madness: Patriots with trades shock the NFL with an electric 7-round mock draft

New general manager Eliot Wolf stocks up on offensive firepower (aka, weaponizes the offense)

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The upcoming late April draft looms large over the NFL world as March has dawned, leaving only two months or so until the first pick. As that time inexorably winds down, the New England Patriots and their fanbase, "Patriot Nation" are anxiously awaiting this new era of post-Bill Belichick drafting, leaving only two months The expectations are high that although the draft team is familiar, the draft philosophy and execution will not imitate the often mind-numbingly eccentric Belichickian approach.

Belichick's drafts were often laden with head-scratching picks. Some left even veteran draft analysts confounded and scrambling to even find players in their scouting reports on whom Bill had lavished high picks. Those "reaches" were for players who were either unexpected at such lofty draft picks or at least largely unheralded.

Those were the hallmarks of Belichick's, "we know better than anyone else does" attitude, aka hubris. Such an attitude when you possess the ultimate weapon, Tom Brady leading your offense, and team, can go overlooked as the GOAT quarterback papered over multitudes of poor personnel decisions all by himself.

After Brady was broomed by Belichick in 2019, however, all that changed and those erstwhile chickens came home to roost. The ultimate result after four years was a last-place Patriots team for the first time in decades. Belichick himself was kicked out the door by a less-than-appreciating-and-accommodating owner, Robert Kraft.

Kraft was himself complicit in and ultimately responsible for the Brady fiasco, one of if not the most obtuse decisions by the franchise ever. Allowing Brady to ever don any uniform but a Patriots one became the team's undoing quickly and since the owner is at the top of the heap, Belichick alone took the fall. (After all, you can't broom the owner, now can you?!)

A new personnel regime is being counted upon to right the ship quickly

Though most of the faces are the same as in the last Belichick drafts, the direction and philosophies hopefully are not. New interim de facto general manager Eliot Wolf, will have the final say on picks and will be partnered by Head Coach, Jerod Mayo. Wolf is on the hot seat and as the ultimate decision-maker, this offseason is evidently (for better or worse) a trial run to see if his new team is up to the challenge.

Kraft decided to put the whole shebang in the hands of Wolf, an untested personnel executive who'd never run a draft before. It's a big risk by Kraft whose decisions haven't exactly been of the highest quality of late, in the team's most important offseason in decades. A wrong decision will set the franchise further back another couple of years.

Wolf and Mayo are on the spot, with Wolf's job likely on the line directly. Mayo may have more time but Wolf has to get his decision-making correct in the next two or three months when the 2024 season will be made or broken. Both in free agency, when there is a player NFL track record to rely upon to a great extent, and in the draft, where there isn't, Wolf has to make the right decisions.

Does that mean he has to ace all the draft picks right, i.e. they all succeed? Nope. Does it mean that every free agent has to be a Pro Bowler? No, not at all. What it means is he has to pick free agents that will start immediately on his lackluster offense. And in the draft, he has to draft consensus players, again primarily on offense, and not go off-the-rails as Belichick did with so many reaches over the past 24 years, most of whom flopped.

So, here we present a full, early March, 7-round mock draft and see what Wolf et al can do to rebuild the Patriot's offense, first and foremost with the high picks he has available to him in almost every round. Wolf's future with the team is on the line, as is the team's generally. It's time to draft smart. So, "Let's Go!" and draft away!

Note: Thanks to profootballnetwork.com for the use of their draft simulator.