Patriots Mock Draft 3.0: Moving Around the Board, SEC Additions
The 2022 NFL Draft is coming up in just a couple of weeks and the Patriots have made some of their typical (excluding 2021) moves, re-signing some of their own free agents and waiting for the initial free-agency frenzy to die down and making a couple of moves.
In this particular mock draft, we went with how we feel Bill Belichick will try to play the board, with a plethora of talent available in Rounds 2-4, the feeling is Belichick will try to slide back and get more picks in the middle rounds.
So that is how we decided to proceed, as you’ll see in how the draft played out on this particular draft board, and they all differ to a degree. But one interesting fact was that we drafted four members of the Georgia Bulldogs and seven players from the SEC.
The Patriots traded pick #21 to Tennessee for pick #26 and a 3rd round pick in 2023. They then traded #26 to Kansas City for picks #29 and #121. Later the team traded pick #127 to Buffalo for picks #130 and #231.
So, here is our Mock Draft 3.0
1st Round, #29 Overall — Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia:
Wyatt is considered a late 1st, early 2nd round pick and that was a good place to select him. We spoke about him on our last podcast, Wyatt is a very good athlete for an interior defensive lineman and is explosive at the snap. He moves laterally very well for a big man (6’3, 304), and can threaten the edge with a nice ability to bend or penetrate up the A gap and be a disruptor inside.
He’s a good run defender facing a single blocker but can be moved by double teams. He’s an intriguing player that has his best football still ahead of him. Wyatt has the size, pass rush moves, and athleticism to develop into a consistent interior rusher in the NFL. He plays with a non-stop motor and will chase down players all over the field.
2nd Round, #54 Overall — John Metchie III, WR, Alabama:
Metchie is my personal draft binky here, as his value would be more geared to 2023 than this year, as he tore his ACL in the SEC Championship Game in December. Metchie had a very productive year with Mac Jones in 2020, catching 55 passes for 916 yards and 6 TDs.
Metchie would be that slot/”Z” WR who would open up all kinds of room in the passing game. He has outstanding separation skills on both vertical and horizontal routes, making defenders defend every blade of grass. With the trade for DeVante Parker, while getting a WR that can grow with Mac Jones is a need, it isn’t a glaring one right now and Metchie will have time to get fully healthy.
Derek Havens and I recorded a video podcast and here is a clip where we discussed Metchie and his fit with the Patriots.
3rd Round, #85 Overall — Kingsley Enagbare, Edge, South Carolina:
The Patriots still need some help on the edge. Other than Matt Judon, the team still doesn’t know what they have in Josh Uche and Ronnie Perkins. Enagbare is a hybrid pass rusher who can line up as a Defensive End or OLB.
He has good size at 6’4, 258, and an array of pass moves. He was 1st team all-SEC conference in 2020 with 30 tackles, 7 TFL, and six sacks, with three FFs. He uses his length with speed to power and takes good angles to the QB.
4th Round, #121 Overall, — Demarri Mathis, CB, Pittsburgh:
Mathis is a quick-twitch corner who missed all of 2020 with a shoulder injury but returned in 2021 and had a career-high 43 tackles, and 2 INTs. He’s 5’11, 189 with loose hips, and excels at press corner with the ability to mirror receivers down the field.
He’s a very good and willing tackler and excels in the running game. Mathis has shown he can play press corner and was good in zone coverage where he used leverage to squeeze routes.
He’s a very good special teams player with experience covering punts and kickoffs and can play on the boundary or in the slot.
4th Round, #130 Overall, — James Cook, RB, Georgia
Yes, another Bulldog in Round 4. Cook could be the heir apparent to James White as the Patriots’ 3rd-down back. The intriguing thing about Cook is that in four years at Georgia, he had only six starts, but he averaged 6.5 yards per carry and great soft hands out of the backfield with 67 career receptions, he’s made for that 3rd-down role. He has very little wear on his treads.
At 5’11, 190, his best ability is to track and catch the ball out of the backfield, with quick feet, the ability to separate. He shows a good ability to hit the hole quickly and has great ball security (one fumble). He could be the next in the Patriots’ red-shirt RBs to earn a role as the 3rd-down back and has no issue with being part of a running back by committee.
5th Round, #158 Overall,— Jamaree Salyer, G, Georgia:
Three Bulldogs…do we see a trend here? Salyer started for the past two years at tackle but due to limited mobility, he will probably move inside to guard at the NFL. But the ability to slide outside in a pinch will make him a valuable, versatile commodity. And Belichick loves players who can do more than one thing.
Possesses ideal size and length (6’3, 332), has the ability to be a road grader in the running game, and in short-yardage will move the pile back. Once he sets his anchor in the passing game, he will be tough to be pushed back. Hand usage is inconsistent but does pack a powerful punch.
5th Round, #170 Overall, — Joshua Williams, DB, Fayetteville State
One of the more intriguing players in the draft. Williams played at tiny Fayetteville State University, so the huge jump in the level of competition may be a factor early, but the Patriots did the same thing with Kyle Dugger a few years ago.
Williams has ideal size at 6’3, 193, and ran a blistering 10.68 in the 100-meters in track. He is a true sleeper in the draft and could be a diamond in the rough. He has the size, speed, and athleticism to make the jump to the NFL and he could be looking at a switch to safety or a hybrid role in his future. He’s a great prospect to take a chance on at this point in the draft.
6th Round, #200 Overall, — Josh Paschal, Edge, Kentucky :
Paschal is a 6’3, 280 defensive end who has strong, powerful hands which he uses effectively to set the edge in the running game and to get to the edge as a pass rusher. His technique improved in 2021 as a pass rusher.
He doesn’t have that natural twitch to be an explosive first step kind of player but possesses very good power to go against NFL interior OL. He’s a bit of a tweener but should be a nice developmental prospect when the team uses even man fronts.
6th Round, #210 Overall, — Justin Shaffer, G, Georgia:
Bulldog #4, Shaffer was a two-year starter (2020-2021), and was a second-team All-SEC selection last year. He’s a brawler and a road grader in the running game and with the size (6’4, 315) to hold his own against big interior players.
He looks for contact and loves to impose his will. While he’s not as nimble as other players, he has good awareness to handle stunts in the passing game. He had a 4th-5th round grade by many analysts, so taking a flyer on him in Round 6 is well worth it. If he can improve his footwork quickness, he could be a nice late-round steal.
7th Round, #231 Overall, — Bo Melton, WR, Rutgers:
Melton has been projected all over the place in terms of where he’ll be drafted, but has been widely pegged as a “Patriots-type of player” and has been a popular mock draft selection for New England. To be perfectly honest, I was resisting that temptation but when he was still there at #231 (which I tend to doubt), it was too good a chance to pass up.
Melton is 5’11, 190, and ran an excellent 4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine which should immediately have boosted his draft stock. His 3-Cone Drill time of 6.98 is excellent as well. A two-time team captain, the Rutgers coaches raved about his work ethic and leadership.
Although he’s a bit undersized, he wins with quickness and agility, which immediately set tongues wagging about a WR the Patriots took in 2009 who was 5’11, 195, ran a 4.52 but had a tremendous 6.68 time in the 40…Julian Edelman.
Four Bulldogs? Someone here approves.
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Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Mock Draft
Tags: Bill Belichick Bo Melton Demarri Mathis Devonte Wyatt Jamaree Salyer James Cook John Metchie III Josh Paschal Joshua Williams Justin Shaffer Kingsley Enagbare New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots 2022 Draft Patriots 2022 NFL Draft Patriots edge rushers