The 2019 NFL Draft is more than five months out, but it’s never too early to start talking about who the New England Patriots should target on April 25.
ESPN’s Todd McShay on Wednesday released his first NFL Mock Draft, and has the Patriots targeting Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones with the 29th overall pick.
“Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton land on the open market after the season,” McShay wrote. “So the Pats’ biggest concern will be shoring up the defensive line. Jones finally put it all together this season and exhibits a good motor and quick first step.”
Jones has logged 40 total tackles, including 13.5 for a loss, with 8.5 sacks in his junior season with the Buckeyes. At 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Jones weighs in over Flowers (6-foot-3, 265), but under Browns’ 6-foot-2, 320-pound frame.
If the Patriots were unable to re-attain Flowers, Brown, or Shelton, Jones would make for an enticing option to lead the interior pass rush for head coach Bill Belichick.
If the Patriots opt to actually make a selection with their first-round pick rather than trade it away, they have shown a tendency in recent years to look to the interior on defense. The Pats selected Brown with the 32nd overall pick in 2015. The year before, they took defensive tackle Dominique Easley but released him in 2016.