The 2020 NFL Draft is two months away, and the list of potential selections for each NFL team continues to swirl at a relentless rate.
For those in New England, there are a couple of questions remaining. Will the Patriots go with a quarterback? Or will they bring in another weapon for Tom Brady, marking their third consecutive year the team drafts a skill position player in the first round?
The Athletic’s staff does not believe it will be either. In a mock draft released by the site, which included the contributions from both professional football writers and those on the collegiate side, they believe the Patriots could draft a less-sexy, but perhaps needed, position at No. 23 — Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs.
Here’s why, per Zak Keefer:
Kirk Ferentz has produced seven first- or second-round offensive linemen as Iowa’s head coach, and Wirfs is stronger and more athletic than any of his predecessors. Last spring, Wirfs shattered Brandon Scherff’s program record in the hang clean with a max of 500 pounds and four reps of 450 pounds… Wirfs, who turned 21 in January, also was the first true freshman to start at tackle in Iowa’s history, including at left tackle in a bowl game. During his three seasons, Wirfs primarily played right tackle because teammate Alaric Jackson was more comfortable on the left side.
As Jeff Howe also explained, a move like this could allow the Patriots to move 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn from left tackle to left guard while Wirfs replaces him in the tackle spot.
But would the Patriots feel comfortable allowing a rookie to protect the blind side of their 42-year-old signal-caller? It could certainly prove a key factor in the decision.
Thumbnail photo via Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports Images