Leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft, we’ll find fits at every position and in every round for the New England Patriots. Next, we’ll take a deep dive on wide receivers.
It’s a great year to need a wide receiver.
The 2020 NFL Draft is loaded with talented wideouts. Players who, in any other year, would go in the first round could fall all the way into the second and third rounds later this month.
The Patriots have a first-round pick and three third-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. They should absolutely try to come away with a wide receiver with one of their first four picks.
Here are their top options in each round:
FIRST ROUND: Denzel Mims, Baylor
We were tempted to put Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk here because we think he’s such a good fit for the Patriots’ offense because of his ability to create yards after the catch. But Mims is the best athletic fit in the draft among wide receivers for New England, and he too would seemingly suit the offense well.
As a reminder, here’s the Patriots’ draft history at wide receiver:
And how this year’s class compares athletically:
(Green highlight indicates measurable is above Patriots average. Red highlight indicates the Patriots have never drafted a receiver with that poor of a testing number.)
Mims is an unbelievable athlete and can fire off the line of scrimmage with his 6-foot-3, 207-pound frame. He has all of the tools needed to be a No. 1 wide receiver, though he might be a bit of a project.
SECOND ROUND: Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
Claypool is so big — 6-foot-4, 238 pounds — that some teams might consider moving him to tight end. He runs a 4.42-second 40-yard dash with a 40.5-inch vertical leap and 10-feet, 6-inch broad jump, however, so he’s listed as a wide receiver.
He wins with power and can create yards after the catch.
We also like USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. here in the second round.
THIRD ROUND: Lynn Bowden, Kentucky
Bowden projects as a slot receiver and offensive weapon in the NFL after playing quarterback in his final season at Kentucky. He’ll do anything to help his team win and has all the confidence in the world.
He might be slightly humbled if he winds up in New England. During his sophomore season, Bowden marched up to his head coach and told him he’d be returning the next punt. If Bowden tried to pull that with Bill Belichick, the Patriots head coach might send him packing back to Youngstown, Ohio.
FOURTH ROUND: Van Jefferson, Florida
Jefferson wasn’t able to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine because of a foot injury, but he’s known for his speed and precise route running. He’s the son of New York Jets receivers coach and former Patriots wideout Shawn Jefferson.
He plays like a faster Jakobi Meyers.
FIFTH ROUND: John Hightower, Boise State
Hightower has speed to burn at 6-foot-2, 189 pounds with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash. He’s one of the best deep threats in a crowded wide receiver class.
SIXTH ROUND: Joe Reed, Virginia
At 6-foot-1, 224 pounds, Reed is built like a running back but has the skills of a wide receiver. He tested well and could serve as a wide receiver, running back and kick returner.
SEVENTH ROUND: Dalton Schoen, Kansas State
Schoen is a sleeper who wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. At 6-foot-1, 206 pounds, he ran a 6.87-second 3-cone drill and could be a late-round flier