Every year experts make their mock drafts. While some teams are easy to predict, others are just impossible. The Patriots fall in the impossible category. Bill Belichick will pick the player he wants where he wants them. It doesn’t matter where Mel Kiper has him mocked, he just takes whoever it is he feels will best help the team. Bill recently told his long time friend and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer that he only wants to coach players he likes. Bill wants to like his guys – genuinely like them. Players he wants to spend time with. That may have been what has led him to turn heads in the draft with his picks. There is no telling who Bill actually likes, as he is the most unpredictable man in the NFL. These are the guys who tried to predict the unpredictable: Bill and the NFL Draft.
Rob Paul, The Armchair All-Americans
Rob does an excellent job with his mock for every team; let’s look at who he has for the Patriots.
#72, Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston. Bowser has one of the best names in the draft. Also, he is a talented player. He is crazy athletic, he ran a 4.56 forty yard dash to go along with a 37″ vertical and a 127″ broad jump. Word on the street is he can play from day one, which is key, with the Patriots having holes at OLB/EDGE. He’s been rising up the draft boards over the past couple of weeks, so it will he may not be available at #72.
#96, Cameron Sutton, NB, Tennessee. Sutton seems like a player who could make out to be a steal. Sutton is noted at Tennessee for his team-first attitude and his overall selflessness. That is music to Pats fans ears. Everything you’d want to be there is there. Sutton allowed just three touchdowns in his career at Tennessee as a four-year starter. Sutton is very small, standing at under six-foot and weighing 188 pounds. He will most likely play inside in the NFL which is what the Patriots need, as they have Gillmore, Butle, and Rowe on the outside.
Peter Schrager, FOX Sports
#72, Teez Tabor, CB, Florida. This is an excellent pick from Pete. Teez is someone who will slip in the draft, due to him being dubbed a ‘troubled prospect‘. Tabor is an excellent player and has even visited New England. Tabor has failed a drug test, skipped a drug test, and fought with a teammate, causing him to be suspended. Tabor defended 28 passes in the past two seasons. If he had no off-field concerns and had a better Combine performance he would be a top three corner in this class.
#96, Chris Goodwin, WR, Penn State. Now this pick is intriguing. There is no need for the Patriots to take a receiver when they have needs at edge. It doesn’t make sense to take a sixth receiever with holes on the roster. Later on in the draft it makes sense. However, not this early.
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball
#72, Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic. Walter says something here that makes a lot of sense: “The Patriots traded for Kony Ealy, but it still wouldn’t surprise me if they obtained another defensive end after losing Chris Long.” It’s as simple as that. They need help as they don’t have enough bodies. Hendrickson is more than just a body though. He is someone that Bill will probably like. Hendrickson blocked a PAT, two field goals, and a punt during in 2016. He also forced six fumbled over the course of two seasons.
#96, Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida. Anzalone can play all of the linebacker positions, which is key for his versatility. If he can be healthy there is no reason not to think he can’t start next to Hightower one day. Maybe even this season. The way Brian Flores has been preparing his linebackers, it wouldn’t even be surprising.