New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

L-R: USC S Calen Bullock, Texas WR AD Mitchell, Washington OT Roger Rosengarten (USA Today Images)

Welcome into Mock Draft Mailbag 3.0! For the final time this spring, it’s time to see where New England Patriots fans are looking as the go through the mock draft simulators with two weeks to go until the real thing.

For those unfamiliar with this exercise, it’s like a mailbag we do during the regular season, but instead of sending in questions people send their mock drafts for us to look at.

Armon Watts: Patriots “wanted me more” in free agency
Christian Gonzalez headlines list of Patriots with new jersey numbers
2024 NFL Draft positional preview: Cornerbacks

At this point in the process, with the Patriots having the third pick, we’ve explored most of the options at the top of the draft. So outside of a few people getting really creative, we’ll mainly be focusing on Days 2 and 3 for this edition of the Mailbag.

Rather that commenting on every player in every draft, I’ll highlight one or two things from each. If the same player or similar trades appear in another draft, my commentary still applies. The goal is to try to highlight as many players and scenarios as possible, using part of as many possible mock drafts as you guys sent in.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get started with Mock Draft Mailbag 3.0!

Note: The way these tweets are displayed, some of the mocks are cropped. You’ll have to open them in Twitter to see the full draft.

  • Off the jump, the two picks at the top feel like a strong and realistic start for the Patriots in the 2024 NFL Draft. The combination of Johnny Wilson and Javon Baker is also an interesting one – Wilson looks like a low-floor, high-ceiling unicorn prospect who is built like an ‘X’ receiver but will probably be at his best playing as a ‘Z’ while Baker is a high-floor, lower-ceiling true ‘X.’ MarShawn Llyod and Justin Eboigbe are strong scheme Patriots fits for their relative positions – Lloyd as a three-down back and Ebioigbe as an edge-setting strong side end.

  • As much as I hate the idea of risking a trade down for a quarterback (in case a team jumps to Pick 4 or 5 and takes the last guy), and the Giants may want more in their trade here, this is an overall solid draft. Creativity gets the big three needs out of the way in the top 31 picks, so the Patriots are able to address one of their defensive needs into the top 100 as well.

  • Another Patrick Paul truther! I’m higher on Paul than most, mainly due to his experience (41 career starts at left tackle, including three all-conference seasons) and NFL-ready build (6-foot-7, 331 pounds with 36 1/4-inch arms). Does he need to round out his technique? Sure, especially with his hands. But waiting until Day 2 for a tackle – which the Patriots will most likely do – is excepting some flaws. Paul may not be a Week 1 starter but I think he can be a Year 1 starter, which should be enough for the Patriots’ current situation. Some may say this is too high for him, but especially if there’s a run on tackles early the Patriots could certainly do worse late in the second round.

  • So, I’m not sure JC Latham gets all the way to 27. Most projections currently have him going in the top 20 (including our full first-round mock from last week). That being said, it’s not unrealistic that one of the second-tier tackles – such as Latham, Amarius Mims from Georgia, Tyler Guyton from Oklahoma – fall into the mid-to-late 20s. If so, the Patriots trading back into the first round for one of them should be a serious consideration.

    I really like the last three picks here too. Edefuan Ulofoshio was one of the best coverage linebackers in the nation last year and could help replace some of what the Patriots lost with Mack Wilson’s departure. Frank Crum is a project tackle but as far as projects go he’s in a decent starting point, as one of the most athletic tackles in this draft at 6-foot-8, 313 pounds. Bub Means (who may not fall quite this far) is a very strong ‘double up at receiver’ option.

  • For the last mock, we talked about tackles potentially falling. But what if none of them do? That could push a first-round receiver like AD Mitchell or Xavier Worthy down to the Patriots at 34 (or within range for a slight trade up). Doubling up Texas picks with Ja’Tavion Sanders would be great, but 71 would represent a significant fall for him – especially given how much interest the Miami Dolphins have shown in him (they sent both head coach Mike McDaniel and GM Chris Grier to watch him at his pro day).

    On Day 3, Xavier Thomas has gone under-discussed when it comes to the Patriots (maybe because the Patriots haven’t drafted a player out of Clemson since DB Jerome Henderson in the second round in 1991). He’s a one speed rusher that aggressively goes after the quarterback. With a year of development, he could be an option to replace Josh Uche as a third-down rusher if Uche doesn’t return after this season when his contract expires.

  • There hasn’t been a ton of discussion about Amarius Mims with the Patriots, which is kind of a bummer because he’s a truly interesting player to debate. Mims is a behemoth right tackle at 6-foot-8, 340 pounds and the tape shows a potentially dominant NFL player. The problem? That tape only includes eight starts. Is that enough of a sample size to invest a first-round pick?

    Jaylin Simpson is a great pick here. Simpson was a starting boundary cornerback for two years at Auburn before moving to free safety last year. Given the Patriots have depth needs about both positions, he could have some extra value to them.

  • I still can’t tell how I feel about Tez Walker. On one hand, I do think he’s a one-note player. That being said, that one note – a deep ball threat – is probably the best note you’re going to have if you’re only going to have one. What I do feel is that his value certainly increases if Drake Maye is the Patriots’ top pick, since the two will come in already having chemistry and comfort with one another.

    While I do think it would be smart to double-up at receiver if Walker if the first pick at the position, I’d try to find somebody with a skillset that doesn’t overlap with his as much as Javon Baker’s done. In that range, a player like Johnny Wilson or even Malik Washington would probably make more sense.

  • Roger Rosengarten in the top 100? Not as crazy as it may seem. A poor performance in the National Championship Game had many soured on him when the pre-draft process began. While that game is certainly worth taking into consideration, it’s one game in a larger body of work. Looking back through Rosengarten’s full season, there’s a lot to like in terms of movement ability and play recognition. He’ll need to put on more muscle at the NFL level, but if he does that he should have what it takes to be a solid starter. He could be a surprise riser in the draft – especially in a class like this that drops off steeply after the second group of tackles.

  • If the Patriots truly don’t believe in any of the top quarterbacks in this class (which doesn’t seem to be the case, but for the sake of this draft we’ll work under that assumption), they do get some more flexibility in their picks. That being said, I still can’t see sticking at three as the choice, given what they could get back for the pick.

    Also, taking a wide receiver with the top pick – whether it be third overall, sixth overall, 11th, etc. – doesn’t seem like the move. Is Marvin Harrison Jr. a special player? Yes. Is he the only special wide receiver prospect who will enter the NFL in the next three years? No. Tackle talent is much more rare, making taking a tackle a more prudent investment. If the plan is to stick and pick at three no matter what, Joe Alt probably is still a better pick than Harrison – but trading back to six to get him would make the most sense.

  • First off, A+++ on the graphic. Incredibly well done, and a Mock Draft Mailbag first. Graphic design truly does seem to be your passion.

    Maybe I’m blinded by the aesthetics, but I also think this would be a really solid draft for the Patriots. It’s very well rounded. Xavier Leggette and Brenden Rice complement each other well at the receiver position. Patrick Paul and Matt Goncalvez would play very different roles, both of which the Patriots need filled. Two tight ends might be a bit excessive, but again there’s no overlap between those two players.

    The only pick here I really wonder about is Dwight McGlothern. As a zone cornerback he’s a bit out of place as a schematic fit in New England. That being said, if they want to draft a Day 3 cornerback based on college production, he’d be the guy.

  • After re-signing Kyle Dugger last week, some may argue that safety is now less of a need for the Patriots. I’d actually claim that – in a specific instance – it’s greater. Dugger is at his best playing in the box or otherwise near the line of scrimmage – something he didn’t get to do as much last year as he had to play more on the back end following the departure of Devin McCourty. So far, the Patriots have done nothing to address that free safety need this offseason. Despite college teams using true center field safeties less often in the modern game, there are a few in the draft this year. Bullock is one of the best, which should make him a Patriots target.

    Travis Glover, the final pick here, is a good candidate to be a second or third tackle taken by the Patriots. He’s shined throughout the pre-draft process including the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl. He’s one of the strongest linemen in this draft, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. The Patriots have met with him multiple times leading up to the draft.

  • While I don’t love the idea of the Patriots trading back from the third overall pick, trading back from 34 could be incredibly beneficial to the Patriots if the board doesn’t deliver them a top tackle or wide receiver at that spot. You can see that here, as the Patriots get an extra top 100 pick which they use on a dominant defensive tackle in Kris Jenkins, who would be a great pairing playing next to Christian Barmore.

  • Kiran Amegadjie is a name worth knowing for Patriots fans, in a tackle class that thins out on Day 2. At 6-foot-3, 323 pounds Amegadjie significantly overpowered FCS rushers, and that power looks like it will translate to the NFL. The question is, will he be able to develop his game beyond that? Missing all but four games last year with a quad injury put a pause on his development, so any team drafting him will be looking mostly at upside rather than the player he currently is.

    Don’t sleep on Jordan Whittington as a potential double-up option for the Patriots. While Texas’ offense was loaded with explosive play-makers like A.D. Mitchell, Xavier Worthy, and Ja’Tavion Sanders, Whittington was the chain-mover. While not as flashy, that’s an important role. While Jakobi Meyers isn’t a perfect player comp for him, there are some similarities in their skillsets. Whittington is also an aggressive, physical player which could make him a great fit on special teams.

  • We already discussed the Patriots’ need for a developmental deep safety. Dadrion Taylor-Demerson is another option at that spot. He’s got the range and field vision to play single-high, but takes some gambles that will cost him.

    If the Patriots are looking for a potential long-term replacement for Rhamondre Stevenson (entering a contract year) on Day 3, Isaac Guerendo fits the bill. He ran a 4.33 40 at 6-foot, 221 pounds and his game reflects that as a well-rounded runner. He’s also better as a pass catcher than most backs his size. However, just one year of full-time production makes his projection a little less clear than the more experienced backs in this class.

  • Let’s talk about Jalen Coker. The Holy Cross wideout is a jump ball receiver at 6-foot-1, 208 pounds. He wins physically at the top of the route and is strong at the catch point, but will need to show he can continue to dominate that way at the NFL level. Later on Day 3 he could be worth a flier, but he shouldn’t be the Patriots only pick at the position. That being said, given the Patriots’ lack of a true ‘X’ receiver he could have a quicker path to playing time that another rookie at the position (assuming that other rookie isn’t also an ‘X’).

    Evan Williams is a good name to know too. The Senior Bowl standout does a great job of getting himself to the right place at the right time, and could be a Day 3 option for the Patriots in looking for a free safety.

  • Blake Fisher would be an interesting pick for the Patriots. Originally a left tackle at Notre Dame, he lost the job after he got hurt and Joe Alt took over, and has been playing right tackle for the Irish since over the past few years. The Patriots’ bigger need is at left tackle with Mike Onwenu expected to play on the right side, so if the Patriots take Fisher, it should be under the belief they can facilitate his move back to the left side.

    This draft also grabs Jalyx Hunt, who is a pure project player on the edge. A former Cornell safety who played almost exclusively on special teams, he transferred to HCU two years ago, put on weight, and started rushing the passer. There’s athletic upside in his makeup, but his skills are still very raw. The Patriots should have the flexibility to develop a pass rusher behind the scenes for a year so he makes sense in that regard, but taking such a player too high with all the other needs on the roster would be tough to justify. 193 is a good spot for him. The Patriots hosted Hunt for a pre-draft meeting.

  • I struggle to get into the idea of the Patriots drafting Troy Franklin. He’s an undersized (176 pounds) burner who wins deep, mainly with speed. It’s not that there’s no place for that kind of player in the NFL, but at that point if the Patriots believe they have a development plan for that kind of guy it may just make more sense to work with Tyquan Thornton.

    Malik Washington seems like a similar situation to me. Good prospect? Sure. But his skillset overlaps significantly with Pop Douglas, and an offense with Washington and Douglas on the field together a significant amount of the time would be very small. It’d  make more sense for the Patriots to try and diversify their offensive skillset.

  • Cade Stover and Erick All is a very interesting pairing at tight end. Stover is more of a traditional inline, hand in the dirt player who is a converted defensive end/outside linebacker. Meanwhile, All is a former projected top-100 pick who suffered back and knee injuries over the past two years that prevented him from hitting his ceiling in college. So, there is upside there but work is needed with both players to get to that point.

  • Look, I’m not a big believer in Bo Nix. But I have to give Chuck credit here – if you do believe in Nix, this is the way to play the board. There’s been a ton of smoke around him going to the Broncos at 12. So, if the Patriots want him, that’s where they’d have to take him in this scenario.

    The Qwan’tez Stiggers pick is also a fun one. Stiggers didn’t play college football after dropping out for mental health reasons following the loss of his father a few years ago, but since has worked his way back onto the radar of NFL evaluators with stops in the Fan Controlled Football League and then the CFL last year, where he won the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award. Still just 22, he has plenty of football ahead of him. If the Patriots are serious about adding ‘character’ players, he checks that box emphatically.

  • Boy, would the Rome Odunze-Michael Penix connection be fun in the NFL. It sounds like Penix is expected to be a first-round pick so this may be a pipe dream, but if this was the outcome (plus Paul and Rosengarten) this wouldn’t be a terrible draft.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.