The New England Patriots hung back and selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with their 15th overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
With nine more picks in the draft, here’s how the Patriots can fill in the rest of their biggest needs on Day 2 and 3 of the draft:
Second Round, 46th Overall: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue
Moore is incredibly undersized at just 5-foot-7 and 181 pounds, but he’s a dynamic player.
He ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash with a 42.5 (!)-inch vertical leap, 10-feet, 6-inch broad jump, 4.1-second short shuttle and 6.68-second 3-cone drill. Moore has only played seven games since 2018 but registered 208 career offensive touches for 2,163 yards with 17 touchdowns in 20 college games.
We’ll slot him in here at No. 46 overall, but the Patriots might have to move up to land Moore. There are some other intriguing wide receivers still on the board including Ole Miss’s Elijah Moore, UNC’s Dyami Brown and Western Michigan’s D’Wayne Eskridge.
TRADE 96th and 139th overall picks for Las Vegas Raiders’ 80th overall pick.
Third Round, 80th Overall: OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa
The Patriots need an offensive tackle of the future with Trent Brown set to hit free agency next offseason. Brown, who’s 6-foot-8, 311 pounds and ran a 6.96-second 3-cone drill, is the perfect project with already decent depth on New England’s offensive line. Groom him for a year behind Brown, Isaiah Wynn, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Michael Onwenu, Ted Karras and Justin Herron, and the Patriots could have a special athlete playing tackle in 2022.
Round 4, 120th Overall: LB Chris Rumph, Duke
Rumph is an undersized edge defender, but he’s the son of Chicago Bears defensive line coach Chris Rumph, and, at 6-foot-3, 237 pounds, there’s reason to believe he could move off-ball in the NFL.
Round 4, 122nd Overall: CB Marco Wilson, Florida
Wilson is one of the best pure athletes in the class at 6-feet, 191 pounds with a 4.35-second 40-yard dash, 43.5-inch vertical leap, 11-feet, 4-inch broad jump, 4.09-second short shuttle, 6.8-second 3-cone and even 26 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
The Patriots have done an incredible job of developing defensive backs like J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones and Malcolm Butler in the past.
Round 5, 177th Overall: RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana
Mitchell has been a popular pick for the Patriots with his 6.94-second 3-cone drill and pass-catching abilities. New England needs to groom a third-down back behind James White.
Round 6: 188th Overall: DT Jonathan Marshall, Arkansas
Marshall is a 310-pound athletic defensive tackle with an SEC pedigree who could contribute as a pass rusher on third down in the mold of Adam Butler.
Round 6, 197th Overall: G Sadarius Hutcherson, South Carolina
Hutcherson, who’s 6-foot-3, 321 pounds, started seasons at right guard, left tackle and left guard. Think the Patriots would like that kind of versatility?
Round 7, 242nd Overall: LB Nick Niemann, Iowa
Niemann is an athletic and productive linebacker who might best project on special teams.
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