The NFL draft is a day away and with 12 overall selections, including six in the top 101, impactful players will be had.
Even though the Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl title, they still have a few big needs on the roster that need to be addressed before training camp rolls around in a few months.
While we’ve already done a Patriots mock draft with who we could see them selecting, it’s nearly impossible to get even one pick correct with how unpredictable Bill Belichick can be.
So, with that in mind, here’s how the Patriots could have the perfect draft when it comes to addressing their needs.
1. Draft youthful wide receiver who can make impact on Day 1
This may be the biggest need on the entire team given the current depth chart and also how the position is lacking youth. It will be easier said than done, though given the lack of success with drafting receivers in the past and also how difficult it is for young wide outs to pick up the Patriots offense. Adding a receiver who can contribute and who Tom Brady can trust may be priority No. 1.
2. Add potential Rob Gronkowski replacement
If not for the recent addition of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, this would be No. 1, but even with him in the picture, adding a potential franchise tight end is still necessary. The two best tight ends in the draft (T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant) likely are out of reach, but the potential is still there by drafting a tight end with one of their first few selections to get a player who can make an impact for a long time.
3. Select versatile defensive end
With Trey Flowers signing with the Lions in free agency, the team didn’t really do much to replace him. While Michael Bennett is nice, he’s 33 years old and is not a 1-for-1 replacement of Flowers. The Patriots also like their ends to be able to do different things, including even playing inside. Adding a player who can line up both inside and out with the ability to get after the quarterback would be a welcomed addition.
4. Potentially trade for veteran wide receiver
Over the years, the Patriots haven’t been afraid to use their picks to add a proven veteran during draft weekend. They did it last year with Trent Brown and it may be a good idea to try and do it again now. This year the position to target would be wide receiver, as the Patriots missed out on the top receivers in free agency (Adam Humphries, Cole Beasley, etc.) and also ones they tried to trade for (Sterling Sheperd, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham).
5. Grab impactful interior defensive lineman
With the departure of Malcom Brown and likely departure of Danny Shelton, another player seems likely to be added on top of Mike Pennel. This position is said to be one of the deepest in the entire draft, so the position doesn’t necessarily need to be addressed with their first couple of selections just to get a solid player.
6. Bring in quarterback who has potential to be Tom Brady’s successor
The draft certainly would not be a bust if this doesn’t happen, but if the Patriots identify and select a player who they feel could one day take over for Tom Brady that would be great. It really doesn’t matter what round it is either because the position is so important. The Patriots have been connected to a few potential first-rounders, so anything can happen.