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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Florida v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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With the 106th pick, the Patriots select WR Ricky Pearsall

With their second pick in the fourth round, No. 106 acquired from the Chargers, the Pats move on another position of dire need, the wide receiver position. They select wide receiver Ricky Pearsall from Florida. Pearsall has good size at 6'1" tall and 200 pounds. In 2023, he caught 65 for 965 yards and four TDs for the Seminoles.

profootballnetwork.com outlines his attributes,

" ... Pearsall makes his money with truly hyper-elite catching instincts and hands. Few receivers are better at the catch point than him when it comes to consistently adjusting for footballs, using late adjustments and patience to maintain control, and securing passes through the catch process with hands of glue.

"Pearsall’s reliability at the catch point makes him an asset on money downs, and he also has a degree of usage versatility that allows him to be easily integrated on Day 1. He can work the slot or be used in motions, and while he’s not a consistent boundary threat, Pearsall can take reps there, too."

Pearsall may not be a game-breaker type, but sure-handed receivers are productive receivers. The expectation is that the wide receiver(s) drafted will be complementing a top, true No. One wideout who'll be signed in free agency. That's the thought here.

Wolf has decided to pass on a great receiver like Harrison to get his quarterback first in this draft. As they say, "first things first" and in the NFL you can have all the other pieces in place, but if you don't have the QB, you're not going to get where you want to go anyway. But free agency and the huge salary cap room the Pats have can remedy the No. One receiver necessity in a hurry. The hope here is they'll do just that.

Wide receiver Brenden Rice is selected with the 122nd pick

With pick No. 122 in the fourth round, a pick secured in the Broncos' trade, the Pats go back-to-back on wide receivers, this time to a bigger pass-catcher with impeccable NFL bloodlines. They select Brenden Rice (son of Hall-of-Famer, Jerry Rice), a 6''2", 208-pound receiver from USC. profootballnetwork.com talks about his ability,

"Already, Rice is a venerable vertical threat with an elite mix of size, length, and speed. He explodes upfield, has the reach and strength to pry through DB physicality, and has the wide catch radius and strong hands to snare passes in the intermediate and deep ranges.

"An underrated part of Rice’s profile, past his elite size-speed combination, is his reliability as an off-script outlet for QBs. Playing with Williams, he gained a sharp awareness in off-script situations. He routinely made himself available for Williams, shaking DBs with unpredictable movements, and attacked the football when it came his way."

Sounds like Rice will fit in nicely with Jayden Daniels and a new Patriots offense that will be able to improve on broken plays while the O-line shapes up, and get yards, not rack up sacks. If it appears there is a pattern developing here, it's by choice. Wolf is revamping not only the personnel but also the entire philosophy of the Patriots' offense. Predictability is OUT. Adaptability and mobility are IN.