Saturday, April 17, 2021

New England Patriots 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 9.0

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 - Hanson (4/15)

15. Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina

The subject of offseason trade rumors, Stephon Gilmore is heading into the final year of his current deal and his age-31 season. Could the Patriots find a long-term replacement from his alma mater?

The son of former Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn, Jaycee excels in press-man coverage due to his size, physical playing style and competitive demeanor. He helped his case with a strong performance at South Carolina's Pro Day -- 4.39 forty, 41.5" vertical and 11'1" broad jump.

Fox Sports - Rang (4/15)

15. Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

For all of the buzz about Jones and the 49ers, his game is much better suited to the up-tempo passing attack New England playcaller Josh McDaniels prefers. With Cam Newton retained (but only a one-year deal) and Jarrett Stidham showing little thus far (two TDs and four INTs since being drafted 113th overall in 2019), the Patriots could use help at the position.

CBS Sports - Jones (4/14)

4. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Trade details: Patriots give up first-rounder (No. 15) and second-rounder (No. 46), plus 2022 first- and third-round picks and a 2023 first-rounder. Patriots have been aggressive all offseason so why stop now? Lance has the brains to match the arm, and Bill Belichick liked what he saw from how Josh McDaniels opened up the playbook last year for a more physically capable quarterback. The Pats can start Cam Newton and develop Lance at his own pace. A big jump for the most dominant team of the 21st century requires a high price to pay.

Washington Post - Clayton (4/14)

15. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Smith won the Heisman Trophy in college, but there are some concerns about his size in the NFL, as he weighs only 170 pounds. It's possible teammate Jaylen Waddle goes ahead of him.

The Athletic - Brugler (4/14)

15. Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

With his athletic versatility at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Collins is a very Patriots-like prospect and a great match in New England's scheme. His value as a cover man, blitzer and run-and-chase pursuit player has Bill Belichick written all over it.

Yahoo Sports! - Edholm (4/13)

15. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Imagine them having their choice of DeVonta Smith or Waddle? Even after upgrading the WRs room this offseason, there's ample room for Waddle's explosive, game-changing ability -- both as a receiver and returner. This also could make up for the retirement of Julian Edelman.

As for QB, I'm starting to change my tune from what I wrote amid the Patriots' free-agent flurry, that a draft day trade up for a premier passer made sense. It would take the almost perfect scenario for Belichick to pull the trigger on that maneuver. Perhaps they're waiting for the 49ers (Jimmy Garoppolo) and Raiders (Marcus Mariota) to make one of their veterans available to create a competition with Cam Newton.

ESPN - Kiper (4/13)

10. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

This makes five quarterbacks in the top 10, with Bill Belichick & Co. making the move up for Fields, my second-ranked quarterback. All the moves the Patriots made in free agency showed me that they believe they can get right back into competing for the AFC East title, but I don't think Cam Newton is the quarterback to get them there. He had too many accuracy issues last season. He's not the long-term answer. Fields had an up-and-down 2020 season, but he can be a star if he becomes more consistent. And I trust that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will get him there. - Schrager (4/8)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

This would be a trade that rocks the NFL, but I don't think it's too crazy. The Patriots don't envision having a pick as high as they currently do (15th) anytime soon, and this is their year to make a big move if they're ever going to get their blue-chip QB to develop. Fields was a highly recruited player who performed on the biggest of stages. This year's first- and second-rounder (No. 46) plus next year's first and third could be enough for New England to get Atlanta to move back 11 spots.

Previous update: New England Patriots Mock Draft Roundup 8.0

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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