Quite a bit has changed between Todd McShay’s Patriots mock draft 3.0 and 4.0. Indirectly it seems like the 49ers trade up to the 3rd pick will heavily change how the Patriots approach the first round of the draft, so much so, that they trade up to the 11th overall spot with the New York Giants.
Overall, his new mock draft differs greatly from his previous version and both our first and second version (2.0 to be released soon). There are some pivotal teams that can go in several directions and which way they choose will greatly impact the rest of the draft, such as Miami at 6 and Detroit at 7, but New England is definitely one of those teams in the middle of the round.
Although they don’t have a new head coach or front office, like so many teams this year (especially picking ahead of them), it’s tough to get a read on what Belichick will do. The offseason is usually a comparatively “dead” time for New England as opposed to other teams. All of that changed last month as they were the big spenders in free agency. Does this new behavior carry over to the draft? Will New England actually not only draft a QB, but also trade up to do so?
One thing that I would point to is the fact that many believed that they had to draft a QB last year. With Tom Brady leaving for Tampa, and their horrendous cap situation, how could they not? The 2020 draft came and went, there was a new meme with Belichick’s dog, but not even his dog drafted a QB. So I would say beware anyone telling you that the Patriots have to do anything because they usually don’t follow that rationale.
Todd McShay’s Patriots mock draft 4.0 has then trading up with the Giants at the 11th pick to select Justin Fields.Embed from Getty Images
McShay’s Patriots mock draft is able to have Fields fall the New England because both the Lions at 7 and the Broncos at 9 pass on taking a QB. The Lions select the last remaining top tier receiver in Jalen Waddle and Denver selects cornerback Patrick Surtain II. The Detroit pick makes sense since they truly have no decent receivers.
The Denver pick is the interesting one because of the history of their front office to try to find the next great signal caller, such as the Payton Manning signing and drafting Tim Tebow, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. Just seems strange that they would settle at QB with Fields readily available to them and instead selecting a corner even though they brought in Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby. The Broncos do have a history of loving corners and both additions may not be long-term solutions at the position, but its hard to see an Elway run team passing on someone who by all accounts going to be the second QB in the draft and has fallen mainly due to criticisms over two games he played in. If available, I find it hard to believe Denver doesn’t choose Fields to be their QB of the future.
The second part that is really interested regarding this selection is that he believes New England will not only take a QB, but will trade up 4 spots to do so. The Patriots do not take QB’s in the first round and they do not trade up for anyone. Any other team in their position would probably make that move in a heartbeat (we think that the Bears will trade up for a QB) but New England has a storied history of not doing what any other team would do. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them stay at 15, take a corner such as Jaycee Horn, and possibly take a quarterback later in the draft. If Belichick pulls this off, it would be one of the biggest stories, if not the biggest, on the first night of the draft.
Todd McShay’s Patriots mock draft also includes a second-round projection. He sees the Patriots selecting nickel corner Elijah Molden out of Washington.
We see them solidifying that position in the first round, but this move makes sense as well. We projected Jaycee Horn, who is an outside corner and a solid replacement for Stephon Gilmore. If New England decides to hold onto Gilmore, Molden would be an excellent addition to the trio including J.C. Jackson. He’s not a lock down, physical, man-on-man corner like Horn, but Molden is a solid zone defender with good hands.