With many College underclassmen declaring for the 2017 NFL draft, the draft board is taking shape. So I'm updating my Patriots mock draft.
The Patriots should get a 3rd round compensatory pick from Cleveland as part of the Jamies Collins trade. The Patriots should also receive a compensatory pick (6th?) for the loss of DT Akiem Hicks to free agency.
I'm also projecting the Patriots trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo for some draft choices. For this mock draft I have Garoppolo being traded to the Chicago Bears for their 2nd draft pick 2017 and their 2nd pick in 2018.
1st round pick; DT Devlin Tomlinson, 6'3" 310 pounds, Alabama
The Patriots need to add a solid DT to their roster with DT Alan Branch starting his 11th year (should he resign). The Patriots were very fortunate that two years ago, DT Malcom Brown dropped in the draft, so they could get him. So they need a prospect to go with last year's prospect Vincent Valentine. Tomlinson is as good as I've see in gap control in the run game.
2nd round pick, from the Bears trade; CB Desmond King, 5'11" 203 pounds , Iowa
The addition of so many underclassmen to the 1st round draft board has pushed some players down the board. CB Logan Ryan will be a free agent, and it remains to be seen if the Patriots will resign him. Last years 2nd round pick Cyrus Jones is a work in progress. King's slide down draft boards is linked to his 40 time (4.56) which interestingly enough is about what Ryan's time in the 40 is. King brings valve as a special teams returner as well.
2nd round pick; OT Will Holden , 6'7" 315 pounds, Vanderbilt
Coach Belichick is always looking forward and with OT Nate Solder being a free agent in 2018, it's time to look for depth at the position. OT Cameron Fleming has shown promise, while OT LaAdrian Waddle is a ghost on the Patriots roster.
3rd round pick; OLB/DE Jimmie Gilbert, 6'4" 235 pounds, Colorado
The Patriots LB group looks intact if LB Hightower is resigned. Barkevious Mingo is a question mark. Gilbert has intriguing qualities, with scheme flexibility that Coach Belichick looks for.
3rd round Compensatory pick from Cleveland; RB Matthew Days, 5'9" 205 pounds, North Carolina State
The Patriots roster would seem to be full at the RB position, Blount, White, Lewis, Foster, and Bolden. Days is a strong prospect who runs between the tackles, with great speed as well as toughness.
4th round pick; TE Scott Orndoff, 6'5" 265 pounds, Pittsburgh
Again the roster looks strong with Gronk, Bennett (if he is resigned), Williams (on IR, knee) and Matt Lengel. Orndoff is a solid prospect, both blocking and running pass routes. Catches the ball well with big hands.
5th round pick from Denver trade; SS Tedric Thompson, 6' 207 pounds, Colorado
Patrick Chung has played well and will be starting his 9th year while S Duron Harmon is a free agent. SS Jordan Richards is still a work in progress. I see Thompson as a strong tackler, likely adding his talents to the Special teams, with Matthew Slater starting his 10th year.
6th round pick (Compensatory); OLB/DE Darius English 6'5" 245 pounds South Carolina
7th round pick , from Detroit trade; CB Brendan Langley, 6' 195 pounds, Lamar
Langley is one of the fastest prospects I've watched, from a small school. 4.34-4.40 40 yd.