Perfect Picks: New England patriots
With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Draft Network Mock machine and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.
We will highlight five players that could help each team. This will include a ‘flex’ pick where we give you two ways a potential pick could go depending on how the board falls. All in all you will get picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. Even if they go into next season with Tom Brady, the Patriots need to begin to plan for their future at Quarterback, one of many holes on the roster.
Round 1 - Pick 23 - Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
A rangy edge rusher with a bevy of pass rush moves that utilise his athletic upside. With a motor relentless enough to rival last years pick Chase Winovich the two would combine to create a two-headed monster of former Big 10 defenders on the edge. YGM’s technical aspects of pass rushing are solid and well-practiced; great hand use keeps his pads clear and his lethal bend make him a true threat off the edge.
Flex Pick - Pick 23 - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Andrew Thomas is suffering from the quality of the offensive tackle class in the 2020 draft. A potential top five pick in each of the last five drafts, Thomas brings top level mental processing ability to the table. A stalwart in the run game, Thomas has already opened lanes for former Georgia back Sony Michel. Should another former Georgia teammate Isaiah Wynn slide inside as has been rumoured, Thomas is a perfect fit to play next to him.
Round 3 - Pick 87 - Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Fromm reminds me a lot of former Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo; their combine workouts were very similar as are many of their traits coming out of college. Given the success the Patriots had in developing Garoppolo, drafting a player with similar traits without having to spend massive capital should lock up their quarterback room for years to come, whether Tom Brady decides to return or to move on.
Mid Round Gem - Pick 175 - Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Whether or not Brady moves on the Patriots are in desperate need of more weapons for the quarterback to throw to. Rookie receiver N’Keal Harry struggled in his first season but is still young. He needs another playmaking body on the team and he gets it in Cephus. The Wisconsin Badger makes his money on short and intermediate routes with his yards after catch ability.
Cephus’ good release and premier route running ability make him a natural fit in the Patriots offense. Arguably underrated after a (now dismissed) sexual assault allegation forced him to miss the whole of the 2018 season, Cephus has his faults but they could easily be masked in this offense.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 218 - Lynn Bowden, ATH, Kentucky
A versatile athlete who has an impeccable character. Putting aside the chance to develop as a receiver in 2019 he took up the mantle as an emergency quarterback for Kentucky. Bowden rushed for over 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns in a rush heavy offense. Add to that 350 yards and a touchdown receiving and a further 400 yards and three touchdowns throwing and you get the kind of offensive weapon that would have Josh McDaniels salivating.
Draft in full
23. Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE)
87. Jake Fromm (QB)
115. Shane Lemieux (IOL)
175. Quintez Cephus (WR)
184. Tyler Clark (IDL)
207. Charlie Taumoepeau (TE)
212. Jon Runyan (OT)
218. Lynn Bowden (WR)
Feature Image Credit: Adam Hunger (Associated Press)