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Patriots Unfiltered's Draft Forecast

Here’s a look at what to expect over the weekend at the NFL draft.


Don't have time to sift through the hundreds of mock drafts being created? Too busy to verify that 40 time from the wideout that caught your eye?

No worries, we have you covered. Every year we put together a quick overview of the draft and the Patriots Unfiltered crew has you covered once again. Here's our capsule look at some of the burning questions surrounding the draft, the Patriots and everything in between. (And we don't want to hear it when our predictions go horribly wrong, like in 2017 when Paul pick Marshon Lattimore as his potential bust).


What do you consider to be the Patriots biggest need heading into the 2020 NFL draft?

Versatile edge player. With the departure of Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy, it remains a glaring roster hole at a critical position with the team set to face some of the most athletic and explosive offenses in the NFL. – Mike Dussault

Getting younger, meaning take the player with the highest value according to your board. That said, it's obvious that right now the Patriots do not know who their starting quarterback is or if they even have one. That doesn't mean they try and crowbar a QB into the 23rd pick. It also doesn't mean that after this draft they will be any closer to answering the QB question but no doubt it's the No. 1 question/need. – Fred Kirsch

New England has several areas that it must continue to address, but for me the top priority remains where it was last season: wide receiver. Especially with a new, as yet to-be-determined player taking over at quarterback, the offense needs playmakers in the passing game to help out during this post-TB12 transition period. – Erik Scalavino

The Patriots have several areas of need but none approaches tight end in my view. They basically played an entire season without one last year and I expect that to change in 2020. – Paul Perillo

Will the Patriots pick in the first round or trade down?

Trade down. Too big of a hole from 23 to 87 and lot of talented players that will be taken in that gap could really fit and help. – MD

There's an 80 percent chance they trade down in the first round. The 20 percent is reserved for someone they love either being available at 23 or within a few spots above in which case trading up is in the cards. – FK

I'm remaining optimistic that they'll stay in the first round, maybe even move up to grab an impact player. I will not be at all surprised, however, if they move out of the first round. – ES

There are times I am frustrated with trading down but this year I think it makes a lot of sense. Bill Belichick will find a way to get into the second round and add depth. – PP

Will the Patriots choose a quarterback in the draft? If so, which one?

Yes, Jake Fromm seems like the best combination of fit and value if they can get him in the third round. – MD

I was on board with selecting Jalen Hurts in the later rounds but he's risen on most boards as high as the second round. Don't want to go there. Barring someone they love being available in the first round I could see them taking Jacob Eason (Washington) or James Morgan (Florida International) in the fourth round. But yes, I see a QB coming out of this draft. – FK

Yes. The big name (Tua Tagovailoa) has been gaining steam over the past several days, but I'm going to say he still gets selected up high. That means New England must look elsewhere. I'm eyeing Georgia QB Jake "From State" Fromm. – ES

It would be hard to imagine the Patriots not selecting a quarterback. I'll go with Jake Fromm somewhere in the middle rounds. – PP

Assuming they stay at 23, who will the Patriots select?

Yetur Gross-Matos, the kind of athletic edge player that I think they need most. If K'Lavon Chaisson falls I'd prefer him but he's probably gone by 23. – MD

It might be a slight reach but I like Justin Jefferson (LSU). He's a 6-1 slot receiver with all the moves, and great hands. Whoever is throwing the ball in 2020, he'll need sure-handed receivers who can get open. That's Jefferson. – FK

Unless a blue-chip receiver or QB falls that far, my sense is that they'll go with a defender, probably someone in the front seven. If Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos is there, I think he's the guy. – ES

I honestly think there are a half dozen ways they could go with this pick but I'm leaning toward edge guys and LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson is my pick. Tremendous athlete but definitely raw and inexperienced. – PP

Will Joe Thuney be traded this week?

No. I think it will be too complicated to move him with the franchise tag and the team will get an extension done with him post-draft. Wouldn't rule out another player like Shaq Mason getting moved though. – MD

I don't think so because the Patriots won't get the value they want. That said there's no way the Patriots end up paying that franchise price tag. As it is the Patriots need to pick up an extra million or so on the cap just to take care of the draft selections. An extended contract or perhaps a trade after the draft when teams figure out what they ended up with will happen. – FK

No, but his contract must be reworked soon to give the Patriots needed room underneath the salary cap. – ES

I think Thuney will be dealt at some point this weekend, giving the team some additional draft capital to work with as it tries to rebuild in the post-Brady era. – PP

Regardless of round, which player will be a Patriot at the end of the weekend?

Malcolm Perry. I'll roll the dice on a captain from Navy who can do a number of things as a kickoff returner/offensive weapon. He has to be on Belichick's radar. – MD

I'll pick the safety position and go with Antoine Brooks from Maryland. He's a thicker safety (220 lbs.) who can play down low with toughness to play the run. He's only 5-10 but he's as tough as they come. – FK

Without question, New England needs a kicker, and a name that continues to draw attention is Georgia's Rodrigo Blankenship. However, I'm going back to the future with a name more familiar to Patriots Nation – Vinatieri. Adam's nephew, Chase, is in this year's crop and has the necessary pedigree. Whether or not he's drafted is another question, but I could easily see him signing as an undrafted rookie at the very least. – ES

I already mentioned my pick earlier but to me Fromm has a lot of qualities the Patriots tend to target in a quarterback. He's smart, makes good decisions, is a leader and has won a lot of games at a high level. He may not be the most gifted passer in the draft but he has potential to develop. – PP

In three years, who will be considered the best player to come from the 2020 draft?

Isaiah Simmons. Perfect defensive player for modern NFL, will be a playmaker all over the field. – MD

I'll go with the obvious, but not always the accurate pick: Joe Burrow. – FK

Tua Tagovailoa. I just think the kid has special intangibles to go along with obvious physical gifts. – ES

Chase Young. I'm going with pedigree here and Young is the next in a line of quality edge rushers out of Ohio State, joining the Bosa Brothers. – PP

In three years, who will be considered the biggest bust in the 2020 draft?

Tua Tagovailoa. Talented player but I think he'll end up in a situation that kills his career before it gets started. – MD

In three years, who will be considered the biggest bust in the 2020 draft?

Anyone the Jets pick in the first round. – FK

Jacob Eason, especially if he goes in Round 1. I see too many red flags. – ES

Jalen Reagor. With such a deep wide receiver class there are bound to be some missed evaluations. TCU's Reagor can fly but has shaky hands and isn't overly versatile. – PP

Name a sleeper pick you love and why?

Laviska Shenault is under the radar a bit due to injuries and recent surgery and isn't generating the excitement the rest of this impressive receiver class is, but he's still my favorite Patriots WR fit. – MD

Chase Young is getting most of the attention at defensive end and deservedly so, but keep an eye on Jabari Zuniga from Florida. He's one of those workout warriors who can really blossom in the right system. He missed seven games in 2019 with an ankle sprain so he fell off some radars. What I like about him is his willingness to get dirty in the run game; he's not simply an edge rusher. In three years' time, with the right coaching, he can really be a difference maker. – FK

Defensive end Tyshun Render from Middle Tennessee State. After I heard that Bill Belichick personally worked him out just before the Combine, I looked him up. Based on film, he's a good form tackler, athletic and versatile (played receiver/TE in high school as well), has good closing speed on ball carriers and just seems to have a nose for the football. – ES

Anthony McFarland. The running back from Maryland had an inconsistent college career and should be available on Day 3. His skills could make him much more valuable than that. – PP

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