This years NFL draft is an unusual one. The COVID-19 outbreak is at it’s peak, so commissioner Roger Goodell was forced to think quickly to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. He decided to move the draft into his basement at his house so he did not have to postpone the event. With the draft now 1 day away it is time to begin speculation of what the Patriots might end up doing on Thursday-Sunday.
It is no secret that the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick in recent years have not had the best luck when drafting early round studs. Coming into this draft they are desperately in need of a WR, TE, and edge. What I want the Patriots to do is different than what I expect them to do come Thursday. Experts say that this years NFL draft has the best WR class in recent years which is why I want the Patriots to take advantage of this class. I would like to see the Patriots make a move to trade up in the 1st round with the Cowboys to get the #17 pick. Justin Jefferson is a name I’ve seen floating around recently connected with the Eagles who have the #21 pick. If the Patriots traded with the Cowboys for the #17 pick, chances are Jefferson will still be on the board when we select. I do not see this happening because if you look at our current WR situation with Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman, N’keal Harry they all played through injuries so I do not believe the Patriots exactly NEED a receiver that early, instead what I believe will happen is the Patriots end up staying put at pick #23, and select Iowa product Aj Epenesa who had 11.5 sacks last season.
The Patriots franchise tagged Left Guard Joe Thuney back in March, which began speculation of whether or not the Patriots were going to hold onto him or trade him for picks. With Joe Thuney reportedly nowhere close to a deal with the Patriots it is time to make a move. The Patriots currently do not have a second round pick because they traded it away to the Falcons back in October in order to acquire WR Mohamed Sanu. Many NFL experts believe that the Patriots will trade him to the Bears for the 50th overall pick, but I personally think the Lions could budge if offered a 3rd or 4th round pick as well as Thuney since they are infamous for signing/trading for Patriots talent the last few years. If the Patriots were to trade with the Lions, I could see LB Kenneth Murray still possibly being on the board when they select. If the speculation is correct, and the Bears and Patriots come to an agreement on a trade, I can see the Patriots taking Notre Dame TE product, Cole Kmet.
The 3rd round is my favorite round to predict this year because of how many picks the Patriots have in this round. They are in possession of pick #87 #98, and #100. I can see the Patriots either trading up and selecting Jalen Hurts or staying put and drafting Jacob Eason. It is important that the Patriots give QB Jarrett Stidham some young competition to keep him more motivated. With pick #98, I have the Patriots selecting another tight end, but this time Thaddeus Moss out of LSU. If the last name sounds familiar, he is indeed the son of former Patriot, and all time great Randy Moss. With pick #100 I can see us selecting Antonie Winfield, safety out of Minnesota.
The last round I will discuss is the 4th round. With news breaking on Tuesday that the Patriots have traded Rob Gronkowski to the Bucs, it gave them another 4th round pick to work with in this years NFL draft. In this round they have newly acquired pick #137 along with pick #125. With their 125th pick the Patriots will select WR K.J Hill out of Ohio State. Hill is an exceptional route runner, who knows how to get open. Hill has 2nd round talents, but with a WR class so deep many experts see him falling to the 4th round. Finally with pick #137 I have the Patriots selecting OG, Solomon Kindley out of Georgia.
Round 1 (23): A.J Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Round 2 Via Bears (50): Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Round 3 (87): Jacob Eason, QB, Georgia
Round 3 compensatory selection (98): Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU
Round 3 compensatory selection (100): Antonie Winfield, Safety, Minnesota
Round 4 via Bears (125): K.J Hill, WR, Ohio State
Round 4 via Bucs (137): Solomon Kindley, OG, Georgia
Round 5 via Lions (172): David Woodyard, LB, Utah State
Round 6 via Broncos (195): Richie Grant, Safety, UCF
Round 6 via Texans (204): Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
Round 6 compensatory selection (212): Michael Divinity, LB, LSU
Round 6 compensatory selection (213): Trystan Colon-Castillo, Center, Missouri
Round 7 via Falcons (230): Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern
Round 7 via Seahawks (241): Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State