In an ideal world, one of the top four quarterbacks or three hightest-ranked wide receivers will be available to the New England Patriots at No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Think it’s unrealistic? PFF has a scenario where that plays out in Steve Palazzolo’s latest mock draft with the Patriots taking Alabama wide receiver, and Heisman Trophy winner, Devonta Smith.
Here’s what Palazzolo writes about the pick:
“While quarterback is an offseason priority in New England, adding playmakers is right there at the top of the list. Smith is coming off perhaps the best college wide receiver season of all time; he’s an outstanding route-runner with after-the-catch and ball skills to win with any style. The Patriots may be in a tough spot to find their quarterback in the middle of the first, but adding Smith and his 94.9 PFF grade will make the future New England signal-caller quite happy.“
Palazzolo has quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance plus wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle going before Smith.
Smith was unbelievable in 13 games this season, catching 117 passes for 1,856 yards with 23 touchdowns, four carries for 6 yards and a touchdown and 11 punt returns for 237 yards with a touchdown. Smith caught 235 passes for 3,965 yards with 46 touchdowns in his college career. He’s slightly undersized at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, but that certainly did not hinder him with the Crimson Tide.
Smith hauled in 12 passes for 215 yards with three touchdowns in the first half of Alabama’s national championship game win over Ohio State before dislocating his finger.
Patriots wide receivers Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers, N’Keal Harry, Marqise Lee, Gunner Olszewski, Devin Smith, Kristian Wilkerson and Isaiah Zuber currently are under contract for the 2021 season with Damiere Byrd and Donte Moncrief hitting free agency. Wide receiver, quarterback and tight end are among the Patriots’ biggest needs after their offense sputtered in 2020.