ESPN's Mel Kiper gives options for Patriots at No. 15 overall in NFL Draft


In his latest mock draft, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has the Patriots trading up to select North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

But, what if they stay at No. 15?

Speaking to reporters on a ESPN conference call Monday, Kiper gave some names the Patriots could consider.

"If you don't force the quarterback and trade up, because I don't think there'll be one there at 15," he said. "If they do go away from quarterback, I would think about a receiver."

Kiper mentioned Alabama wide out Jaylen Waddle. In six games last year, he recorded 28 catches for 591 yards and four touchdowns before needing ankle surgery.

If the Patriots don’t go receiver, Kiper believes cornerback could be a position that is targeted with the pick.

"You could look at Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech, you could look at Patrick Surtain II from Alabama or Jaycee Horn from South Carolina," Kiper said. "Two of those three will probably be there, guaranteed one of those three will still be there."

With that being said, Kiper thinks quarterback is the top priority.

"I still believe getting a quarterback, be it at the draft or somehow, someway. … [The Patriots] have to close that gap on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills," he said.

Three late-round options at the position he named were: Davis Mils (Stanford), Jamie Newman (Wake Forest), and Ian Book (Notre Dame).