It’s anyone’s guess how the Patriots will utilize their first-round draft pick later this month.
We’ve seen projections all over the map in various mock drafts, as New England has a number of roster holes to fill following a free agency period highlighted by departures. We also probably shouldn’t rule out the possibility of Bill Belichick trading away the 23rd overall pick in order stockpile assets.
But if you ask NFL analyst Peter Schrager, the Patriots would serve themselves best by boosting their secondary group in the form of Southern Illinois safety Jimmy Chinn.
“The PatriotsÂ will be in the hunt for a quarterback, but I’m not sureÂ Jordan Love,Â Jacob Eason,Â Jake FrommÂ orÂ Jalen Hurts make a ton of sense at this point in the draft,” Schrager wrote for NFL.com. “Does a do-it-all safety from a small school? Maybe not initially, but scouts rave about Chinn, whose metrics lined up with Isaiah Simmons’ at the combine. Capable of playing safety or linebacker, Chinn would be learning from Bill Belichick, the linebacker corps, the McCourty brothers andÂ Patrick Chung, and could be used in a variety of ways.”
While New England’s arsenal of cornerbacks is among the best in the game, it could use some safety depth. Devin McCourty and Chung both turn 33 a month before the start of the 2020 season, and Duron Harmon now is in Detroit. The group could use an infusion of youth, and Chinn’s ability to line up in multiple spots only would be an added plus.
The 2020 NFL Draft will kick off April 23, as scheduled, and run through April 25.