Patriots focus on improving the defense in new 7-round mock draft

Ole Miss v Alabama
Ole Miss v Alabama / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
3 of 5

Round 4, Pick No. 103 – Jaylan Ford (LB, Texas) 

Ford isn’t the quickest (he clocked an unofficial 4.60 40-yard time), but that’s the only thing keeping him from going higher in the draft. He is incredibly physical, though, and that’s definitely something Mayo can work with.

Mayo ran a 4.56 40 time back in the day, so he knows you don’t need to be lightning-fast to become an efficient linebacker in the NFL, especially when you can lower the boom. 

With Mack Wilson, Chris Board, and Terez Hall all leaving at the end of the season, the Patriots need some reinforcements in the linebacker corps. Pairing Ford with a quicker rookie (more on that later) would provide plenty of energy to complement the likes of Jahlani Tavai and Josh Uche. 

Round 5, Pick No. 137 – Curtis Jacobs (LB, Penn State) 

Jacobs is the speedy linebacker who could form a lethal combination with Jaylan Ford. When he arrived at Penn State, Jacobs became fast friends with Micah Parsons, a standout talent since being drafted by the Cowboys.

While Jacobs isn’t the supreme athlete Parsons is (he ran a 4.58 40 compared to Parsons's lightning-fast 4.39), his 10-yard split was in the top 70% of the linebacker class. His 40-yard time put him in the 83rd percentile, and his broad jump was in the 86th, so he’s definitely a gifted athlete. He’s also 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 241 lbs. 

After he became a regular starter as a sophomore, Jacobs recorded 23.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks. He also hauled two interceptions, forced a fumble, and recovered four fumbles. Jacobs is projected to be a fifth-round pick, and he will make one lucky GM look very clever.