With free agency kicking off on March 17th, and the 2021 NFL Draft still a couple of months away, April 29th to be exact, there’s still a ton of roster movement to occur before we go into our official/final 2021 Patriots mock draft. However, as we wait for free agency to begin we wanted to give a few situation-specific Patriots mock drafts. In this specific scenario, the top offensive talent (top four QB’s, top three WR’s and Kyle Pitts), were all off of the board. This scenario will give a good idea of some of the targets the Patriots could pursue throughout the draft if they go defense in round one. With that in mind, let’s hop into this 7-round Patriots mock draft. (NOTE: This mock draft was made using an NFL Draft simulator.)
Round 1 (Pick 15): Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB) Notre Dame
With fellow linebacker Micah Parsons and all the top offensive talent (top four QB’s, top three WR’s and Kyle Pitts) off the board, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (JOK) became the pick at 15 for the Patriots. JOK is labeled as a linebacker, but he played all over the field last season at Notre Dame. He played in the box, along the defensive line, and also in the slot. His versatility and his great coverage ability make him a perfect chess piece for a modern NFL defense.
There are some concerns over JOK’s size, as he would be a smaller linebacker. That being said, using him strictly in a pure linebacker role would limit his tremendous skill set anyways. Having two young versatile defensive chess pieces in JOK and Kyle Dugger would make the Patriots incredibly dynamic. Ideally, JOK would also be able to fit in at the weak-side off-ball linebacker spot, while also shifting to play safety and slot corner. In other words, an every-down hybrid defensive weapon. The bottom line is, JOK has an elite ability to move from hash to hash and make plays, he’s great in coverage, and he has that he has ELITE level instincts to find the football and make plays on the ball. Plus, if there’s anybody I trust to find/create a perfect role for JOK, it’s Bill Belichick.
Round 2: Pat Freiermuth (TE) Penn State
A rookie tight end not named Kyle Pitts, may not be high on the Patriots’ wish list, due to the fact the Patriots drafted two tight ends in the third round last year, and they may prefer to add more of a veteran to that group. However, Pat Freiermuth in the mid-second round is too good of a value to pass up on. He is the prototypical build of what the Patriots look for in a tight-end. Freiermuth is a great blocker, and he has the ability to create mismatches in coverage.
Round 3 Projected Compensatory Pick: Dyami Brown (WR) North Carolina
Dyami Brown is an explosive receiver who could bring a much-needed spark to a Patriots offense that was dormant last season. Brown’s big-play ability, over 20 yards per catch in both the 2019 and 2020 season, is something desperately needed in the Patriots’ offense. He also is a good blocker on the edge, which is something the Patriots value.
Round 4: Jaylen Twyman (IDL) Pitt
Because Jaylen Twyman opted out of the 2020 season there isn’t much film to evaluate, but the film that he does have is pretty impressive. Twyman would likely come in and play three-technique along the Patriots’ defensive line. Plus, he brings strong pass rush potential to a Patriots defense that was among the bottom of the league in sacks per game. With some development under Belichick, Twyman could become a force on the defensive line.
Round 4 Projected Compensatory Pick: Richard LeCounte III (S) Georgia
The Patriots are fairly set at strong safety with Dugger, Patrick Chung, and Adrian Phillips, but they could use some depth behind Devin McCourty at free safety. Richard LeCounte III is a great prospect and has experience playing that deep safety role when he was at Georgia. It should be noted that LeCounte also has experience playing in other roles too, like in the slot, thus showing he can be a great fit as a rotational safety for the Patriots. Another bonus is LeCounte’s reported great leadership that he brings to the table.
Round 4 Projected Compensatory Pick: Simi Fehoko (WR) Stanford
Simi Fehoko is a big body receiver, 6’4″ 227 lbs, with great speed to go along with it. He brings a top-notch level of physicality to his game and he uses his vertical quickness to make big plays while lined up out wide. Fehoko still needs to refine his technique as a receiver, but all the elite tools are there.
Round 5: Jonathon Cooper (Edge) Ohio State
Jonathon Cooper is just too good of a value to pass up on in the fifth round. He may not be the best edge rusher in this year’s class, but he can still contribute a solid edge rush in the NFL. Cooper is very technically sound with his rush moves and can be a nice late-round selection.
Round 6 (via Dal): Tommy Kraemer (IOL) Notre Dame
With the potential losses of Joe Thuney and David Andrews this off-season, the Patriots could look be looking at two major holes to fill. Tommy Kraemer has all of the traits to be a productive interior offensive lineman in today’s NFL. He’s strong, aggressive at the point of attack, and should be able to play guard or center.
Round 6: Tamorrion Terry (WR) Florida State
Tamorrion Terry is absolutely amazing value for the sixth round. He’s listed at 6’4″ and he plays very very fast. Being able to go up and high point the football as a fast downfield weapon is extremely valuable. Terry isn’t a perfect prospect, but his upside is evident and worth a sixth-round selection.
Round 7: Ian Book (QB) Notre Dame
Ian Book had a highly successful career at Notre Dame, however, his resume coming into the NFL isn’t anything special. Book isn’t capable of coming in on day 1 and starting. He isn’t the long-term answer to the void the Patriots have at quarterback. He will most likely get a look at being the team’s backup quarterback, but for it being the seventh round, getting a quarterback like Book here is good value for what he could bring to the table.
This is only one of the many scenarios that could unfold when the Patriots 2021 draft rolls around in April. We’ll explore many other scenarios as the offseason continues.