The Patriots need a new running back to pair with Dion Lewis, and Kenneth Dixon is the prototype prospect Bill Belichick often covets.
Rd. 2, Pk. 30
Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
Bill Belichick loves versatile offensive linemen. Le'Raven Clark can play four positions up front. He'll compete at guard this year and then eventually start at one of the tackle spots.
Rd. 3, Pk. 28
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
I'm sure Tom Brady is tired of throwing to pedestrian receivers. New England will have to give him a threat at wideout outside of Julian Edelman. Chris Hogan was added, but he's not the type of receiver who can threaten defenses downfield.
Rd. 3, Pk. 33
Jordan Jenkins, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
The Patriots dealt away Chandler Jones, so they should use a draft pick to bolster their pass rush.
The Patriots could use some running back depth. LeGarrette Blount is viewed as a year-to-year player, while Dion Lewis is coming off a season-ending knee injury.
Henry was superb in 2015. Not only was his running impressive, but his blitz protection also has evaluators excited. The junior averaged 5.6 yards per carry (395 carries) in 2015 for 2,219 yards with 28 touchdowns with 11 receptions for 91 yards.
As the No. 2 back in 2014, Henry averaged 5.8 yards per carry for 990 yards with 11 touchdowns. He added five receptions for 133 yards, too. The 6-foot-2, 247-pounder has a burst to run away from defenders with the power to run through tacklers. He also really improved his blitz protection and receiving skills. As a freshman, he racked up 382 yards on only 36 carries with three touchdowns.
Rd. 2, Pk. 30
Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
The Patriots had Akiem Hicks leave in free agency and released Dominique Easley. The roster could at least use some depth.
Day recorded 45 tackles, 15.5 for a loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes batted in 2015. He was very impressive and disruptive for Notre Dame. The 6-foot, 286-pounder was a disruptive presence for the Fighting Irish in 2014, totaling 40 tackles with 7.5 for a loss, one sack, two forced fumbles and two passes batted. He played better than the numbers indicate, too.
Day has some natural strength and athleticism to him. Throughout the Senior Bowl, he fired into the backfield and showed once again that he is a disruptive force.
The Patriots could use multiple defensive line additions after losing Chandler Jones, Akiem Hicks, and Dominique Easley this offseason. Fortunately for New England, this class is very strong on the defensive line. Here is an edge rusher the Patriots have shown interest in.
Ngakoue totaled 38 tackles, 15 for a loss, 13.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass breakup in 2015. He showed that he has some natural pass-rushing skills with speed, length, and strength on the edge. Sources said by mid-season that Ngakoue had impressed them and had his stock is trending upward. The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder looks like a good outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense.
Ngakoue destroyed Redskins guard Brandon Scherff in 2014. Ngakoue also looked good against Michigan State's Jack Conklin and Ohio State's Taylor Decker while holding his own against Saints' first-rounder Andrus Peat. That season, Ngakoue recorded 37 tackles, 13.5 for a loss and six sacks.
Rd. 3, Pk. 33
Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
Tom Brady does a lot with meager cast of wideouts. The Patriots could use a play-maker like Cooper.
Cooper (5-11, 203) is a quick slot receiver who is dangerous after the catch. In 2015, he totaled 66 receptions for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. Cooper was a dynamic play-maker for the Gamecocks in 2014, making 69 receptions for 1,136 yards and nine touchdowns. He also ran the ball 27 times for 200 yards and two scores.
This pick should change by Thursday. As much of a Belichek type of player Dixon is, he wouldn't compliment Dion Lewis very well. I think they may double down with Jihad Ward.
And yes, McCalister and Ward are phenomenal athletes who will end up as top 65 picks.
Braxton Miller just feels like he'd fit in with New England. He proved his abilities this year and should find his way in the lineup sooner rather than later. Miller (6'2", 215, SR) is shifty and made some spectacular plays this year. Line him up in the slot as well as outside and trust him to make something happen.
Patriots need a legitimate all purpose RB to bring into the fold. They always seem to find their role players to play the Faulk role that they love to put in place, but their offenses run most efficiently with an every down back.
The first of back to back picks thanks to the Chandler Jones trade the Patriots grab a potential Jones replacement in Calhoun. He was a potential first rounder at one point so the potential is there. If anyone can get him to live up to it, it's the Pats.
Patriots will need to add youth to their DL, & with Jones gone & Ninkovich aging, they could really go anyways. Kaufusi is a guy I think has 1st round talent, but his limited scheme fit drops him right in the Patriots lap.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Bronson Kaufusi Going to Patriots
Rd. 2, Pk. 29
Cyrus Jones, CB,
We've reported that Bill Belichick has given up on drafts he dislikes, #yoloing his picks and taking seventh-rounders way earlier than they should be chosen. This isn't a crazy reach like Jordan Richards, but the Patriots took Jones about a round earlier than he should've gone. New England has two corners with expiring contracts after this season, so Jones makes sense from that perspective, but there were better players available at the position.