With needs across their roster, the New England Patriots truly might be able to take the best player available in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has the Patriots selecting Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons at No. 15 overall in his first mock draft of the year.
Here’s what Jeremiah wrote about the junior linebacker:
“Parsons is an explosive, versatile playmaker and the Patriots need to get faster on defense.”
The top four quarterbacks (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields) and top three wide receivers (Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle) all were off the board in this scenario, as was tight end Kyle Pitts.
Jeremiah does not have Alabama QB Mac Jones as a first-round pick in his mock.
The Patriots are heading into the 2021 season with Dont’a Hightower, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, Terez Hall, Cassh Maluia and Michael Pinckney under contract at linebacker, which was one of New England’s weakest positions in 2020 with Hightower opting out over COVID-19 concerns.
Parsons, who’s 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, could give the position a boost.
He registered 109 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, five pass breakups and four forced fumbles in 2019 as a sophomore. Parsons opted out for the 2020 season.