The NFL offseason is officially upon us, which means mock draft season can fully begin. While draft projections in general are hard to nail down, the upcoming offseason is a new level of unpredictable, with expected unprecedented player movement on top of the COVID-related limitations imposed on events such as the Combine, pro days, etc.
Keeping that in mind, there’s some assumptions that had to be made in putting together a mock draft before internal free agency, external free agency, and prospect workouts. Before getting into the selections, let’s just clear up some of that context.
New England’s biggest unknown is, of course, the quarterback situation. For this draft, I worked under the assumption that the Patriots don’t make a major move at quarterback. No Wentz, Carr, Garoppolo, or any of the other clear starters on the market. Maybe they add a bridge veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor, but they’re still very much in need of a franchise QB.
Meanwhile, in this scenario the Patriots do spend money bringing in at least one big name free agent wide receiver. I’ll leave the name up to your imagination, but this draft was conducted under the assumption they’ve already upgraded at the position.
As for the internal free agents, assume the consensus results. David Andrews is back, Joe Thuney is gone. James White is back, Deatrich Wise is gone. Also, for the sake of this mock draft, let’s say all of the opt outs return.
I was tempted to trade Gilmore, but there’s already enough guesses here. For now, he remains in New England at least through April. I’ll save that move for a future mock draft (unless it happens in reality first).
One more note – the NFL likely won’t release the exact comp picks until early March. In the meantime, this mock uses the OverTheCap.com projections.
Alright, that’s enough context. Let’s get to the draft.