As the 2022 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots’ radar or that we feel would be a great fit.
The Patriots need some big-time additions at cornerback. Last year, they traded away Stephon Gilmore and then a few days ago they lost J.C. Jackson in free agency. Thus far, they’ve made only a minor addition, former Texan CB Terrance Mitchell. With Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams, Shaun Wade, and Justin Bethel also on the roster, they’ll look to add at least one, probably two more corners to rebuild their depth.
The Patriots like to play man coverage, but due to injuries and a lack of depth down the stretch, last season opted to play more zone coverage. We could be seeing the team lean more towards zone coverage in 2022. Especially with the plethora of athletic, mobile quarterbacks in the NFL.
Andrew Booth Jr. from Clemson could be a much-needed depth 1st Round addition to the Patriots draft.
Booth is another cornerback from Death Valley that brings a tremendous amount of athleticism (check✔) and the size to play corner at the next level. Booth has limited starting experience, but he and Mario Goodrich combined to give the Clemson defense one of the best CB tandems in the country.
Booth is easily among the top five corners coming out in the draft in 2022, providing both the ability to play man coverage or zone, possesses the size, physicality, and aggressiveness to be excellent in run support. Booth has the versatility to play out of the slot, although with Jonathan Jones back and Myles Bryant on the roster, the team wouldn’t need him to play there and would move him to the perimeter, which is a position of need.
Booth is only 21 years old and tips the scales at 6’0, 195 pounds. He’s aggressive in man coverage with makeup speed that allows him to take some risks. He’s one of the best tacklers in this class
– Prototypical size for the position
– Tremendous run defender
– Outstanding footwork, smooth backpedal
– Speed allows him to close quickly and contest every pass
– Limited starts, just four starts as a sophomore, and his junior season
– Can be too “handsy” at times in coverage
– Needs polish to his game, which will come with good coaching
What his Role Will Be:
Booth would, in a perfect world, play a limited role in Year 1 and ease into starting. But he’ll probably be thrust right into a starting role on Day 1 of the season
Will His Role Change from Year 1-to-2?
Yes, he should be the team’s #1 corner by his sophomore season in 2023.
How Many Downs Can He Play?
What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
J.C. Jackson who left in free agency
What is his ST Value?
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein has this to say about Booth:
“A press/zone combo corner with good size and length, Booth plays with an urgent, competitive nature. He has the strength, balance and foot agility to press and slow the release. He has limited starting experience, though. He will need more development to prevent route specialists from manipulating his feet and hips. Booth has the ball-tracking and play strength to find and maintain top-dog positioning through catch tries. He’s more effective in off coverage underneath than tight man. He needs to play more football, but his ball-hawking instincts, burst to close and toughness in run support will be very appealing for zone teams looking for an upgrade at cornerback.y.”
Booth definitely meets the need of the team in regards to size, athleticism, and physicality that they like at the position. While he needs some refinement in his techniques at the next level, that will come with good coaching.
He should be a very good corner who has yet to reach his maximum potential with the ability to cover in man or zone and should be a stalwart for the defense for years to come. If he’s there at #21 for the Patriots he’d be an easy pick, if they don’t decide to trade back.
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