Wednesday, August 26, 2020

New England Patriots NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 2.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2021 NFL draft, we will update our New England Patriots Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New England Patriots from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Patriots:

Rotoworld - Thor Nystrom (8/21)

25. Jaylen Twyman, IDL, Pittsburgh

Twyman was a revelation last year, earning Second-Team All-American honors after piling up 10.5 sacks. He's not a human boulder in the mold of Vince Wilfork or Danny Shelton, but Twyman is a handful, with quick feet and a deep bag of pass-rushing moves.

PFF - Mike Renner (8/19)

20. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

It had to be done. Even though the Pats drafted two tight ends in the third-round this past season, neither can hold a candle to Freiermuth. The massive 6-foot-5, 260-pound Freiermuth has defenders bounce off him routinely. He broke nine tackles on 43 catches last season.

The Draft Network - Kyle Crabbs (8/19)

27. Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

Uh, what? The Patriots just sank two third-round picks into tight ends. Another one? Yes, because neither Devin Asiasi or Dalton Keene are known as "Baby Gronk." Freiermuth gives the Patriots their next great in-line threat and receiving target, whereas Keene can be a Swiss army knife for the offense and Asiasi can be the complimentary receiver who isn't charged with spending so much time with his hand in the dirt. The Patriots need better weapons, period, and few teams get more out of tight ends.

Pro Football Network - Oliver Hodgkinson (8/16)

27. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

Regardless of whether the New England Patriots have Cam Newton or Jarrett Stidham under center next year, reliable pass catchers should be the main order of business in the 2021 NFL Draft. With James White and Rex Burkhead out of contract, the running back room could also use a pass-catching option. The defensive line also sees several potential free agents that could leave a hole in the Patriots depth chart.

Ohio State has a rich heritage of sending wide receivers to the NFL, and Chris Olave might just be the best of them all. Olave has the size and physicality to win contested catches and be a true redzone threat, while having the speed and route-running skills to get open downfield. Regardless of the situation in the BIG Ten for 2020, Olave will be one of the top receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

ESPN - Todd McShay (8/12)

26. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

If there were a QB who made sense at this stage in the draft, the Patriots would probably look there. At this point, there isn't one, as my Nos. 4 and 5 quarterbacks -- Texas A&M's Kellen Mond and Iowa State's Brock Purdy -- are well down the board. But there is a linebacker (two, actually, with LSU's Jabril Cox also available) here who would go a long way toward providing the middle of the defense a QB of its own. Moses missed last season with a knee injury, but when he's healthy, he is a complete player and game-changer. He brings athleticism, speed, physicality and leadership qualities. Dont'a Hightower, who already opted out of 2020, will be a free agent after the 2021 season, and the 'backer corps already lost Jamie Collins Sr. and Elandon Roberts to the open market.

The Draft Network - Jordan Reid (8/10)

24. Tyler Shelvin, IDL, LSU

There aren't too many teams that have witnessed more roster turnover this offseason than the Patriots. From players opting out to Tom Brady moving south, there will be lots of new faces in key places next season. With Beau Allen projected to be the starter at nose tackle, there seems to be lack of depth up the middle of the defense.

Shelvin is the perfect piece to place in the middle. At a listed 6-foot-3, 346 pounds, he's the head up 0-technique that has previously thrived in New England. From the success of Vince Wilfork to serviceable play from Danny Shelton, the nose tackle spot is seen as a vital piece and the team now finds a prospect who can play a prominent role in it.

Pro Football Network - Matthew Valdovinos (8/9)

27. Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

When I watch Basham, he just screams New England. He's a naturally powerful defensive end that sets a dominant edge and a good pass rusher, but likely won't ever come close to leading the NFL sacks. Basham is the kind of player Bill Belichick loves to draft and turn into a star, then flip him into a third-round comp pick.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (8/3)

24. Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Smith isn't the biggest, fastest, or strongest, but he's an elite route-runner with exceptional hands that can win at all levels of the field. He's a detail-oriented receiver that simply knows how to get open and catch the football with incredible consistency.

The Patriots need this type of talent to help keep the offense on schedule and build around whoever is ultimately the long-term answer at quarterback.

Previous update: New England Patriots Mock Draft Roundup 1.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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