NFL Mock Draft Projects Patriots To Bolster Cornerback Corps In First Round

The Patriots are scouting defensive backfield prospects heavily

by

March 30

The New England Patriots can cross one significant roster-building item off their to-do list next month.

ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum projected Wednesday in his latest 2022 NFL mock draft the Patriots will select Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with their first-round pick at No. 21 overall. Booth proved his versatility over the three seasons he played for the Tigers, and Tannenbaum believes that characteristic would serve him well in New England.

“Just two years ago, the Patriots had J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore in their cornerbacks room,” Tannenbaum wrote. “Now they are starting Malcolm Butler and Jalen Mills on the outside. Booth has great quickness, scheme flexibility and the ability to play all over. And why Booth over LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr.? Stingley has played only 10 games over the past two seasons, and his production over that time left a lot to be desired. That’s concerning, and I’m leaning toward Booth, because I know what I’m getting from him.”

Booth played in 25 games for Clemson, racking up 75 tackles, 10 pass breakups, five interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery, according to Clemson’s athletics website. This one-handed pick he made in 2020 is perhaps the best highlight of his college career.

The cornerback position is a notable Patriots roster need, and several recent mock drafts predict New England will select one in the first round, either in its natural spot or by moving down the order via trade.

It’s impossible to know for sure what the Patriots will do with their seven picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. What is certain, however, is Bill Belichick and Co. seek to nail their draft for the second consecutive season and return the team to Super Bowl contention.

They’ll have that opportunity between April 28-30 when the NFL Draft takes place.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Alabama foobtall head coach Nick Saban
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