Barring a trade down, the New England Patriots are set to add a rookie to their roster Thursday night.
The 2019 NFL Draft finally kicks off Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET and runs through Saturday. Thursday is saved for just Round 1 of the draft. Rounds 2 and 3 will take place Friday starting at 7 p.m., and Saturday is a marathon with Rounds 4-7 beginning at noon.
Here are the Patriots’ current 2019 picks:
Round 1, Pick 32
Round 2, Pick 56
Round 2, Pick 64
Round 3, Pick 73
Round 3, Pick 97
Round 3, Pick 101
Round 4, Pick 134
Round 6, Pick 205
Round 7, Pick 239
Round 7, Pick 243
Round 7, Pick 246
Round 7, Pick 252
In the weeks leading up to the draft, NESN.com has been churning out content to get you prepared for the draft. Listen to our pre-draft podcast below:
We posted our final seven-round Patriots mock draft of the offseason Wednesday. This was our best guess at what the Patriots will do Thursday, Friday and Saturday, not what they should do.
Earlier in the month, we identified the Patriots’ biggest needs in the draft. We ran through our most realistic first-round scenarios Thursday morning.
Click the position names below to check out each piece in our series of positional fits. We picked a player at each position in each round of the 2019 NFL Draft for the Patriots.
The names below are our best overall fits at each position for the team.
Will Grier, West Virginia
Grier is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, but he’s among the most accurate passers in the draft, has a deceptively strong arm and isn’t afraid to chuck it downfield. He struggled a bit against pressure, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, but only threw eight interceptions in 2018.
It’s tough to know where Grier will come off the board. It could be anywhere from Round 1 to 3. The Patriots are looking for an heir to Tom Brady’s starting quarterback throne.
Tony Pollard, Memphis
Running back should be low on the Patriots’ priority list, but Pollard has the versatility to fill Cordarrelle Patterson’s role from the 2018 season. Pollard can play running back and slot receiver. He’s also one of the best kick returners in college football history. He could fall to the sixth round.
David Sills, West Virginia
It was tough to whittle down this list to just one name. Ultimately, Sills fits best from a mental aspect as a former quarterback with adept ability to read a defense. We think he could catch on to the Patriots’ offense quickly and contribute from Day 1. He’ll be off the board around Round 4. Among other fits, we like better athletes like Georgia’s Mecole Hardman, Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, UMass’ Andy Isabella, Notre Dame’s Miles Boykin and South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel.
Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
The Patriots can let current tight ends Matt LaCosse and Austin Seferian-Jenkins focus on the blocking aspect of the game while Sternberger runs seam routes to beat NFL linebackers and safeties. With the right coaching, Sternberger could have upside as a blocker, as well. The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in the big tight end. He’s a projected second- or third-rounder.
Max Scharping, Northern Illinois
The Patriots need a tackle to back up both Isaiah Wynn and Marcus Cannon. Scharping is a good athlete and has experience at left and right tackle. He’ll likely be drafted on Day 2.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE
Drew Forbes, Southeast Missouri
Forbes is a late-riser in the draft process as a non-combine invitee. He ran a 4.96-second 40-yard dash with a 7.65-second 3-cone drill. The Patriots likely will need a left guard next season after Joe Thuney hits free agency. Forbes is a projected fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
At over 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds with a 4.93-second 40-yard dash and 7.45-second 3-cone drill, Tillery could play on the edge on early downs and kick inside to rush the passer on third down. He essentially could fill two spots on the Patriots’ defense with one pick. If he’s there at No. 32 overall, we’d grab him. Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence is another nice fit in the first round.
Anthony Nelson, Iowa
Nelson is one of the most underrated players in the 2019 draft. He’s a projected third-rounder but has ideal size at 6-foot-7, 271 pounds with impressive athleticism. He also was a productive pass rusher in college.
Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
It’s becoming tougher and tougher to find big linebackers. Tavai is 6-foot-2, 246 pounds and can stuff the run and rush the passer. He’s a projected third- or fourth-rounder.
Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt
Williams doesn’t hit all of the Patriots’ typical measurables at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, but he ran an impressive 6.92-second 3-cone drill and 4.07-second short shuttle. He’s best suited to cover tall wide receivers and tight ends in the NFL. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots drafted him 32nd overall. He’s a late-first/early-second round prospect.
Amani Hooker, Iowa
Hooker tested fantastically with a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 6.81-second 3-cone and 4.1-second short shuttle. Think Patrick Chung. Hooker can play a hybrid safety/linebacker role. He’s a second- or third-round prospect. We also like Washington’s Taylor Rapp despite his 4.78-second 40-yard dash. He’ll be drafted around the same area.
Thumbnail photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Images