The New England Patriots had a very rough free agency. Whether it’s wanting to keep their absurd amount of 2023 cap space at a premium or players simply not wanting to come to New England, the team has not seen the success like their AFC counterparts had. Now, Bill Belichick and crew enter a draft that they need to ace and can with seven picks in this year’s draft.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 21: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
With J.C. Jackson‘s departure, cornerback is the biggest need on the roster for the Patriots. There aren’t many with first-round talent that fits the Patriots’ bill, but Elam does. He’s got excellent movement, great length, and tools that teams will drool over. Elam will come in with hopes to replace Jackson on the boundary and try doing so somewhere down the road.
For more on Elam, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 2, Pick 54: David Bell, WR, Purdue
Yes, Bell’s testing was pretty horrid, however he still is a great player on film. The next biggest need on New England’s roster is either receiver or linebacker and Bell was the most intriguing player on the board here. Bell is a player who just knows how to get open. He’s nearly unstoppable in the short areas and will be an instant weapon at Mac Jones‘ disposal.
For more on Bell, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 85: Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
Belichick said earlier in the offseason that the goal at linebacker is to bring in more speed. Tindall does exactly that. At 6-foot-1, Tindall is a violent player, one who flies to every ball carrier. He’s done well operating in space for Georgia and would be a nice depth piece for the Patriots with hopes that he can develop into a guy that cracks the rotation.
Round 4, Pick 127: Sterling Weatherford, SAF, Miami (OH)
It was a shocker when Weatherford didn’t get a combine invitation. However, it may not hurt his draft stock as we see him available in the fourth round here. Even with the Jabrill Peppers signing, New England still needs some depth in that secondary. Youth is a must as well because Devin McCourty is getting up there in age. All in all, this will be a great pick if Weatherford can embrace the role Belichick puts him in.
Round 5, Pick 170: Cade Mays, iOL, Tennessee
The Patriots acquired this pick through the Shaq Mason trade. We aren’t saying Mays can replace Mason, but it was clear New England didn’t want to wait the 73 spots before making another selection in this draft. Mays is a high floor, low ceiling type player. He’ll be able to rotate in early in his career and is worth taking a shot on to build that much-needed line depth.
Round 6, Pick 200: Jalen Nailor, WR, Michigan State
New England cannot afford to only take one receiver in this draft. Nailor is a guy who is super versatile and has the return experience that New England needs. Nailor’s game is built around his speed, something the Patriots could definitely use. If New England does take Nailor, he’d almost certainly make the roster because of the value he can bring early in his career.
Round 7, Pick 210: Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
Barno broke the NFL combine record with his 4.36 40-yard dash, the fastest ever for a defensive end. The Patriots could use Barno at several spots in their hybrid defense, mostly as a gadget player. Still, any gadget player that you can get in the seventh round is a solid selection, even if Barno is one of the rawest prospects in the draft this year.
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