Sunday, January 17, 2021

New England Patriots 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup, 4.0

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:

EDSFootball - Kevin Hanson (1/15)

15. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

In the previous iteration of this mock, I slotted one of Jones' top weapons (Jaylen Waddle) at Alabama to the Patriots, who need to add play-makers to an offense devoid of them. That said, Jones took over for Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth pick in 2020, and really hit the ground running in 2020 after getting a few starts following Tua's injury in 2019. Facing only SEC competition before Notre Dame and Ohio State in the College Football Playoff, Jones completed 77.4% of his pass attempts and thrown for 4,500 yards (11.2 Y/A), 41 touchdowns and four interceptions. Jones was even better in the CFP as he completed 81.3% of his pass attempts for 761 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions.

San Diego Union Tribune - Eddie Brown (1/13)

15. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Cam Newton isn't the long-term answer at quarterback and Bill Belichick clearly doesn't believe in Jarrett Stidham. Jones benefits from a great supporting cast in Tuscaloosa, but he's an accurate, decisive passer who had 4,500 yards (first in the nation), 41 touchdown passes (second in the nation) against only four interceptions and a QBR of 96.1 (first in the nation). He finished third in the Heisman Trophy race.

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso (1/13)

15. Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami (FL)

Bill Belichick goes with the raw but versatile and high-upside Rousseau to refortify the defensive line in New England.

The Athletic - Dane Brugler (1/12)

15. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

The Patriots will examine several quarterback options this offseason, but it might not matter much unless they add more playmakers. Waddle and his special athleticism would be an instant shot of adrenaline for the offense.

The Draft Network - Joe Marino (1/7)

15. Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

The New England offense struggled in its first season without Tom Brady at quarterback, but it's hard to envision any passer having success with the weapons that the Patriots featured in 2020. Kyle Pitts has the potential to be Darren Waller 2.0 and provide an immediate and significant upgrade to the current weapons in New England. Whoever is playing quarterback in Foxboro next season will struggle to have success if he isn't surrounded better in 2021.

ESPN - Todd McShay (1/7)

15. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

OK, it's time. And what a terrific outcome this would be for coach Bill Belichick. Fields fell to No. 15 here because we aren't doing trades in this mock. There's little chance he makes it this far down the board, especially after his six-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl quieted some big-game concerns. Someone will move up to get him.

But what a nice fit Fields makes in New England. The Patriots tied the Giants for the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL this season with 12, and New England joined the Broncos as the only teams with more interceptions thrown than TDs (14). Cam Newton, who was largely ineffective this season, will turn 32 in May and is set to be a free agent again. Jarrett Stidham doesn't appear to be the guy, either. Tom Brady is no longer walking through that door, and it's a different era for the Patriots' passing offense. Fields would change that, with plenty of zip on his vertical shots and an ability to create when things break down.

USA Today - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz (1/5)

15. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Bill Belichick can't afford any more half measures at quarterback after the Cam Newton experiment fizzled in New England's first losing season in two decades. The answer might materialize in free agency or the trade market, or perhaps earlier in the draft via trade. But even though this might be considered high for Jones, his superlative accuracy and poise could entice Belichick.

Athlon Sports - Bryan Fisher (1/5)

15. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

How long have we been discussing the Patriots' lack of weapons at receiver? Hopefully Bill Belichick doesn't overthink things and just goes with one of the most polished wideouts in the draft who can instantly energize the passing attack from the moment he arrives in Foxborough.

Previous update: New England Patriots Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

More New England Patriots content:

Also, check out more of our content:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) like us on Facebook and/or (3) subscribe to our newsletter.