The State of the Patriots:
After failing to get past the Wild Card Round for the third year in a row, the Patriots will look to retool their team to get out of what has been uncharted territory in recent memory. After a highly successful 2021 draft, the Patriots and Bill Belichick will look to build upon that success in an ever improving AFC East division.
With losses in free agency and aging stars, the defensive side of the ball, especially in the back 7, is an area of concern that will need to be addressed in the draft.
On offense, finding second year quarterback Mac Jones a bona fide No. 1 receiver is crucial as well as retooling the team’s biggest strength from last season, the offensive line.
Lloyd has the speed, aggressive mindset, pass rushing ability, and defensive playmaking ability teams crave in a Will linebacker, and if he continues to hone his craft within the box, he has a very high ceiling.
Lloyd’s versatility would fit perfectly into a Bill Belichick defense as he can make an immediate impact in coverage as well as rushing the passer.
McDuffie is a fluid athlete who has the speed, quickness, and transition ability to be a solid shutdown corner at the next level, though his size for the outside and limited on-ball production could be what holds him back.
Adding a plus athlete with the upside of a shut down defender who can also make an impact in the run game will contribute to filling the void of losing top cornerback JC Jackson.
Burks will have to improve as a sharp route separator as his tree expands moving forward, but his body control, catching skills, and competitive speed make him an impact player at all levels of the field.
The Patriots have lacked production from a big bodied receiver after missing on former first round pick N’Keal Harry. Adding the toughness, ball skills, and big frame that Burks provides will give Mac Jones a great target in his offense.
Woolen’s gliding strides, elite athleticism, and superior length are difficult traits to teach, but he needs to match his play strength to his size and continue growing his natural coverage skills and comfortability to reach his high ceiling.
Woolen’s rare combination of athleticism and length will fit well in the Patriots versatile secondary. If he can develop his raw talent and can cash in on interception opportunities he can help fill the void of JC Jackson’s turnover production.
Muma is an explosive player with ideal size and a motor that does not quit in order to make splash plays and contribute as a core special teamer, but he needs to refine his skills to make a consistent impact in all areas.
Adding a high motor, agile, tackling machine to the second level of the defense will allow this defense to take the next step. Muma’s athleticism in the run game will provide a big boost in what was at best a sufficient tackling team last year.
Kinnard is a big, strong blocker with a mauling mentality in the run game, but needs to refine his footwork, hand accuracy, and overall technique in the pass game to be an effective starter at the next level.
After losing both starting offensive guards from last season, the Patriots will have Michael Onwenu to fill one spot and will need to find a replacement opposite him. The Patriots were at their best when running the football and Kinnard figures to fit right in as his biggest strength is blocking upfield in the run game.
Bonitto is an athletic, rangy, bendy pass rusher who should excel at getting to the passer with his lack of strength and run game stoutness limiting him to just third downs early in his career at the next level.
After signing Matt Judon in free agency last year, finding another stand-up pass rusher to fit in their 3-4 defense is important to the Patriots success. Bonitto’s athleticism and motor figures to fit well for the Patriots on third down and in definite pass situations.
Pierce has the size, speed, and big-play ability that teams want in an outside receiver, but his inability to consistently win 50/50 balls will limit his appeal to be a game-changing receiver.
Adding Alec Pierce to the offense would provide Mac Jones with a down the field option to an otherwise short and intermediate passing game.
Joseph is a rangy, ball-hawking deep safety who has the smarts and skills to be a starter at the next level, though he’ll become more of a threat if he gets a little more physical and is willing to mix it up more often.
Adding a ball-hawking defensive back now, will not only allow him to learn from Devin McCourty, but also help fill the turnover void left by the departed JC Jackson.
To learn more about the Patriots and their needs, visit their team page on our NFL Draft website here.