NFL Mock Draft: Patriots projected to add some help for Mac Jones

NFL Mock Draft: Patriots projected to add some help for Mac Jones

Welcome to NFL Draft week! In just three days, the league’s highly-anticipated college player selection meeting will take place in Las Veags, and the New England Patriots are one of the most intriguing teams. Sitting at pick No. 21, the Patriots have various options to fill holes on their roster on both sides of the ball.

While the defensive side needs to be addressed — the linebacker and cornerback spots in particular have plenty of potential for improvement — there is an argument to be made for help on the other side of the ball as well. Building the best possible supporting cast around second-year quarterback Mac Jones is imperative, after all, and the following collection of mock drafts is trying to do just that.

Peter King (NBC Sports): OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

Big, big upside — and the Patriots can likely use 2022 as a developmental year if they pick him. Great point by Daniel Jeremiah: “Reminds me of the Sebastian Vollmer pick.” The native of Germany played college football at Houston, and was a second-round pick of the Pats in 2009 — and played on two Super Bowl-winning teams. The Patriots would take a replay of that, as would Mac Jones.

Pats Pulpit’s own Keagan Stiefel selected Raimann as part of the SB Nation community mock draft, so let’s just hand the mic over to him for analysis:

Drafting Bernhard Raimann is a way for New England to fall back on their tried and true method of developing players with all of the tools at that position, behind veterans who have succeeded in the system. … Raimann fits so well under this umbrella because of his background as a foreign exchange student with limited experience playing the game. There’s no better person for him to enter the professional ranks under than Belichick.


How would you grade the selection of Bernhard Raimann at No. 21?

Mark Daniels (Providence Journal): OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

The Patriots drafted Nate Solder in the first round despite having two starting tackles in place. Solder went on to start after Matt Light retired. The Pats could follow a similar plan here. Penning is a massive 6-foot-7-inch, 325-pound tackle. He eventually could replace Isaiah Wynn, who will be a free agent next year. Penning has great athleticism for his size and has experience on the right and left sides. The Pats saw him at the Senior Bowl and Penning visited Foxboro for an official pre-draft visit.

Trevor Penning is in the same basic situation as Bernhard Raimann. He likely is no first-year starter as he continues to work on his mechanics, but his ceiling is tremendous. Penning, who also participated at this year’s Senior Bowl like Raimann, has an impressive foundation to work with and would give New England a long-term replacement should Isaiah Wynn not be retained next offseason.


How would you grade the selection of Trevor Penning at No. 21?

Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

The Patriots, should Wilson and Olave be gone, shouldn’t hesitate to pair Williams with another Alabama product in Mac Jones, who didn’t get to play with him in college. Williams is a big playmaker with the technical route-running skills and hands the Patriots like.

The Patriots did pick up DeVante Parker via trade earlier this month, but Williams is a different player and would therefore add another element to their offense. A speedster who has the ability to completely transform the unit surrounding Mac Jones, him being available at No. 21 would be a coup for New England—even with him coming off a torn ACL.


How would you grade the selection of Jameson Williams at No. 21?

Chad Reuter ( G Zion Johnson, Boston College

The Patriots need help in the interior of their offensive line after trading Shaq Mason to Miami and losing Ted Karras in free agency. Johnson’s savvy play and mobility gives him the capability to step into the lineup right away, probably at guard for now and potentially at the pivot when David Andrews retires. The BC product also has experience at left tackle, which could come in handy if Isaiah Wynn misses time due to injury again.

At the moment, the Patriots are looking at a starting guard duo of James Ferentz and Michael Onwenu. The latter has proven his qualities as a rotational option the first two years of his career, but Ferentz is a liability as a starter. If New England wants to find a ready-made upgrade, there are no better options available than Zion Johnson: the BC product is a Day 1 starter and has all the tools to become a difference-maker right away.


How would you grade the selection of Zion Johnson at No. 21?

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