Fresh off the Sam Darnold trade to Carolina, I will re-set the draft order and priorities.
From all indications, it appears QB’s will be taken in the first 4 draft positions in this years’ draft. Thanks to the SF trade, and the ransom they paid to Miami to get the number 3 pick, they have turned the draft upside down. Atlanta was in a great position to either grab their QB of the future or trade the pick to one of 4 teams looking for a QB (DEN, NE, WAS, and NO). San Francisco has been rumored to be enamored with Alabama’s Mac Jones. Atlanta could still come away with a quality OT if they traded with DEN or NE. I thought the cost was going to be outrageous and similar to what Miami received (3 1sts and a 3rd). However, the Carolina trade devalues the Atlanta pick now. Carolina is still sitting at #8 and could take one of the top three WR’s or TE Pitts. ATL would not trade the pick to a team in its own division. Mac Jones was Carolina’s pick at QB and they determined that SF was going to select him. Darnold can play right away and they are going to exercise his 5th-year option. This is actually good news for the Patriots.
Will Bill Belichick pay the price to move up to number 4? I doubt it. He won’t mortgage the future to take a very big chance on a rookie QB that won’t play this year.
The Bengals won’t take a QB but would listen to offers. They need an OT to protect Joe Burrow. Up next is MIA. The trade with PHI essentially blocks the Pats from moving up to this spot. MIA would never make this trade with NE because they are in the same division. Could they trade with Denver? Highly unlikely. They are looking at one of the top three WR’s.
Detroit at number 7 is the most likely trade partner for the Patriots. Because of the Carolina trade, the competition for a QB just reduced. If the Pats want the #5 QB (and it just might be the number 1 QB I wanted for the Patriots) then they will no longer have to overpay. Moving up from 15 to 7 would take two number ones and possibly a future number 3. It might just be the two number ones. Will BB do this? How bad does he want this QB? We won’t know this until Draft Night. I am sure Belichick has already had initial discussions with trade partners up and down the 1st round. The parameters of a deal have changed since the Carolina trade. He will have to re-contact them to re-establish the new parameters of a deal. Come draft night, all he has to do is see how the draft board falls out and if his player(s) are available in those positions. Then he makes the decision to pull the trigger on a trade.
What if the price is too high for Bill to trade up? Depending upon who is on the board at the time of selection 15, the Patriots could select a player or trade down (which is Belichicks MO). Likely all the top QB (5), WR (3), DB (2), TE (1), Edge (1), OT (2) will be gone at this point. That leaves the top ILB, #3 OT, and the second tier of WR. If they stayed at 15 I would like to see the Patriots take WR Rashod Batemen of Minnesota. He is a true #1 receiver.
Who are the second tier of QBs? Kyle Trask (Florida), Kellen Mond (Texas A&M) and Davis Mills (Stanford) make up the next group. In the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator, all three of these QB’s are gone by pick 75. That’s not a good scenario for the Patriots. Using their 2nd round pick on any of these QB’s would be too high. None would be left for the Patriots’ next selection in Round 3, a compensation pick #96. A trade up into the top 75 is also difficult. It might take the 3rd (96), and two 4ths 120 +122).
Here is a little background on these three quarterbacks.
Kyle Trask – 6’3.6” 240 lbs, 5.02 40 – He started as a Freshman at Manvel TX HS. He didn’t start again until his redshirt Jr year of college. He was second string to a QB that received several D1 offers. Florida saw him at one of their camps, liked him, and took a chance on him. Redshirted his 1st year, broke a toe his Redshirt Freshman year, and had a broken foot his Redshirt Sophmore year. He worked himself up to back-up to Feleipe Franks (Arkansas) going into his Junior season. Franks was hurt in the opener and Trask never came out. He has just two years of experience but played in the toughest conference, the SEC. He threw 69 TD’s to 15 Int over his career. He thinks quickly and gets rid of the ball. He is a grip it and rip-it thrower. The greatest attribute is his touch on his throws. He is not a good deep thrower.
Kellen Mond – 6’3.5” 211 lbs, 4.62 40 – He started all four years in the SEC. At the Senior Bowl, he was selected MVP of the game (because Mac Jones didn’t play). Mond led Texas A&M to a 9-1 record and 4th nationally. His 19 TDs to 3 Int were exceptional in 2020. However, he only completes 60% of his passes in 2020! He can be a pocket passer and is dangerous outside of the pocket where he can throw on the run or run with the ball and show off his 4.62 speed. He reminds me of Colin Kaepernick as a QB. He has a very quick release and makes quick decisions
Davis Mills – 6’ 3.1” 220lbs, 4.87 40 – Another QB with limited playing time. Mills played 8 games in 2019 and just 5 (PAC 10 rules). He met the 60% rules both years (65.6% in 2019 and 66.2% in 2020). His TD/Int rate was also good (11/5 in 2019 and 7/3 in 2020). Mills lacks mobility and is strictly a pocket passer. He is best suited for a quick timing offense. He had some injuries early with knee surgery coming out of HS and then again his Freshman year.
Mock Draft 3.0
Here is my most recent Mock Draft using the Pro Football Focus simulator. I find their draft rankings to be the most accurate and up-to-date. I will use Quinn Meinerz as an example. They have him ranked at #53. If I hadn’t used pick #46 I may have lost him. This mock is post-Carolina trade for Sam Darnold. This drastically affects what the Patriot will have to offer to move up.
Trade #15 and 2022 1st to DET for #7 and select Trey Lance – This is where the Carolina trade had the impact. Since Carolina no longer needed a QB, then the cost for the trade with Detroit became reasonable. BB pulls off the trade and the Pats get their QB of the future. Trey Lance was the QB I wanted all along and couldn’t be happier.
46. Quinn Meinerz LG/OC Wisconsin – Whitewater (D III) – He is 6’3” 320 and ran a sub 5.0 40. A year earlier rather than a year late is my motto. I have expounded about his ability often in my columns. He dominated the Senior Bowl practices and was voted by his peers (D lineman he dominated) as the Practice player of the week. Karras is on a one-year contract, Wynn may not get his 5th-year option exercised and Brown is on a one-year contract. Onwenu had one of his best games at Left Guard, but depending on the tackle situation next season Owenu may be called upon to switch again. Meinerz broke his hand in the Senior Bowl practice and finished the practice without missing a snap. He taught himself how to shotgun snap and the Senior Bowl was the first time he played OC (and played well). PFF has him rated #53 in the Draft overall. His Pro Day numbers were all in the 90th percentile all time. He is being described as the most intrinsically motivated person. His nickname is “Gut” and he was a captain for Wisconsin-Whitewater. 31 of 32 NFL teams were represented at his Pro Day with NE, CIN, PIT and CAR sending their O-line coaches and SF and DET sending their Director of college scouting. NE sent bot o-line coaches. Meinerz watches film of Shaq Mason and that is the player he is most compared to.
95. Demetric Felton RB/WR UCLA 5’ 9” 190, 4.59 40, 7.21 3- cone – The Patriots love versatility. In 2019, Felton was a WR catching 55 passes for 594 yards and 4 TDs. Then in 2020, UCLA coach Chip Kelly, a close friend of Belichick, moved Felton to RB and for the 5 games the PAC 10 played, he rushed for 694 yards, 5 TDs and a 5-yards-per-carry. He also caught 22 passes for 3 TDs. Brandon Bolden is over 30, James White is on a one year contract and Sony Michel’s contract is up this year.
120 Milton Williams DT Louisiana Tech – 6’ 3.2” 278, 4.61 40, 4.87 3-cone (Better than Felton), 38.5 Vertical (better than Robinson) – We were aware of his physical numbers weeks before his Pro Day. He participated in one of the Exos Combines in February. He bettered those number at his pro Day. His performance on the field doesn’t match the numbers he put up. Could be a classic looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane scenario. At pick 122 I have to take a chance on him. He could be trick or treat. He also threw up 34 reps at 225 lbs. A perfect 3-4 DE. Lance Zerlein thinks Williams improved his draft position into Day two, possibly a 2nd round selection. I don’t see that happening because of his lack of production over his career.
I have to admit, I lost WR Dwayne Eskeridge with this pick. The speedy wideout from Western Michigan was picked with the next selection. I was hoping to wait till 122 to take him. I don’t believe he will last this long. I have him going 2nd or 3rd round.
122. Simi Fehoko WR Stanford – 6’4” 222. 4.44 40 6.78 3-cone – Fehoko is an imposing target. He has a wide catch radius and will fight for those 50/50 balls. He was 1st team All PAC-10 for the abbreviated 2020 season. 37 catches for 584 yards and 3 TDs in six games. He has the speed despite his size to create separation on long go routes. He is also a great red-zone target. Developmental type of player. I’m not happy with our receiving corps as it’s currently constituted. I think Harry will get traded and Edelman will retire.
139. Robert Rochell CB Central Arkansas 6’ 193, 6.84 3-cone – Rochell is a very good press corner. He has tremendous ball skills being a former WR. His 38 career PBU and 10 Int attest to that. Rochell is a handsy CB, hand fighting all the way. That needs to be cleaned up. Some teams may see him as a Safety. He is definitely not a slot corner. He looked good at times in the Senior Bowl practices. However, when lined up in the slot against Kadarius Toney and Amari Cooper, he looked lost.
177. Shi Smith WR South Carolina 5’ 10” 186 4.43 40, 6.89 3-cone – Smith is known as the YAC Monster. Every time he touched the ball he was likely to take it to the house. He had 29 starts but the QB situation was inconsistent at best. Smith is a speedy developmental slot receiver. He looked great at the Senior Bowl.
188. Robert Hainsey T Notre Dame 6’4.4” 306 lbs 5.24, 7.54 3-cone 32 reps @225 – Hainsey is maxed out as far as his weight. He has good functional strength as evident by the 32 reps. He is a 3-year starter at RT. He will be an adequate backup / developmental player. Next year both Wynn and Trent Brown will be Free Agents. Hainsey will have a fight to make the 53 man roster.
197. Bobby Brown III DT Texas A&M – I would not pick Brown but would take Ben Mason FB Michigan 6’3” 246 4.75 40 who was unavailable in the PFF Draft. Mason plays FB, H-Back, TE and on all 4 special team units. He has also played for Defensive coordinator don Brown at DE and DT. He was recruited as a LB, and his physical size / speed numbers he would be #3 amongst the ILB in this draft. You know how Bill likes versatility and special teams performers. Mason blew up the Senior Bowl with devastating blocks that reminded me of James Devlin, only a better receiver out of the backfield. Mason has Patriots written all over him.
242. Marlon Williams WR University of Central Florida 5’ 11 209 4.63 40, Williams is described as a big slot receiver. He catches whatever is thrown to him and has good YAC as he is able to run through contact. In 2019 he had 51 catches for 712 yards and 6 TD’s. He topped that in 2020 with 71 catches for 1037 yards and 10 TDs. He competes for every ball and often comes down with the ball when battling in traffic. He is a developmental player that would not be expected to make the team the 1st year.
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Draft
Tags: 2021 Patriots Draft New England Patriots