For weeks now we’ve been telling you what the Patriots should do in the 2019 NFL Draft. Now we’re giving you our best guess at what New England will do in the draft.
The 2019 NFL Draft commences Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s what we’re hearing from sources and media reports.
First round, 32nd overall: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Bill Belichick knows players like Lawrence, who’s 6-foot-4, 338 pounds and runs a 5.05-second 40-yard dash, don’t just grow on trees. We wonder if Lawrence can contribute on passing downs, but Belichick probably doesn’t care if he can. He values a player’s run-stopping ability on first and second down more than his pass-rushing prowess on third down.
If Lawrence is off the board, don’t be surprised if the Patriots take a quarterback, trade back or take this player:
Second round, 56th overall: CB JoeJuan Williams, Vanderbilt
We have Williams going off the board in the second round, but there’s a solid chance the Patriots make him their first-round pick. He has rare size at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds. He doesn’t have elite speed, clocking in at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but his agility scores — 6.92-second three-cone and 4.07-second short shuttle — make up for it.
Second round, 64th overall: TE Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
Even after signing Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Patriots need a young tight end. Sternberger is more of a pass catcher than a run blocker.
Third round, 73rd overall: WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia
We also wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots traded for a wide receiver with one of their third-round picks. Hardman can play outside or in the slot. He’s a burner at 5-foot-10, 183 pounds with 4.33-second 40-yard-dash speed.
Third round, 97th overall: QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Stidham was better in 2017 than he was in 2018, which makes him a tough projection in the draft. Auburn’s offense didn’t do him many favors in 2018. Time behind Tom Brady would benefit Stidham greatly.
Third round, 101st overall: OT Max Scharping, Northern Illinois
Offensive tackle is one of the Patriots’ greatest needs. Scharping would be an ideal fit as a swing tackle behind Isaiah Wynn and Marcus Cannon.
Fourth round, 134th overall: LB Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii
Tavai has prototypical size for a Patriots linebacker at 6-foot-2, 246 pounds. He’s been a late riser in draft rankings.
Sixth round, 205th overall: RB/WR/KR Tony Pollard, Memphis
Pollard played running back and wide receiver for the Tigers. He also was one of the best kick returners in NCAA football history.
Seventh round, 239th overall: OL Tyler Jones, North Carolina State
Jones played left tackle for the Wolfpack but projects to guard in the NFL. The Patriots can essentially get a head start on their undrafted free agent signings with these final four picks.
Seventh round, 243rd overall: P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
The Patriots re-signed punter Ryan Allen to a one-year deal. They can bring in Wishnowsky to compete with Allen in camp.
Seventh round, 246th overall: OT Tyler Roemer, San Diego State
Off-field issues caused Roemer to declare for the NFL draft after his sophomore season. If Dante Scarnecchia can’t get him on the right track, the Patriots can cut bait early in Roemer’s NFL tenure.
Seventh round, 252nd overall: S Jake Gervase, Iowa
Gervase raised eyebrows with his pro day workout, excelling in agility drills. He allowed a 20.4 passer rating in 2018.