These Would Be ‘Home-Run’ Patriots Draft Picks, NFL Analyst Says

'All that stuff kind of screams Patriot to me'


April 22, 2022

Daniel Jeremiah believes the New England Patriots should prioritize adding explosive difference-makers on both sides of the ball in this year’s NFL draft. And he sees a few prospects who’d be perfect first-round fits.

In a conference call Thursday with reporters, NFL Media’s lead draft analyst identified Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams and Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd as players New England should target at pick No. 21 overall if either is available.

“Obviously, Jameson Williams would be a home-run pick,” Jeremiah said. “That would be somebody they would have great info on with Nick (Saban)’s connection there to Bill (Belichick). That to me would be a fun one.

“I think you look on the defensive side of the ball, if you want to talk about a real playmaker on defense, I know linebacker — off-the-ball linebacker — has been a little bit undervalued recently. But, man, Devin Lloyd, for all the different things he can do, he kind of just feels like a Patriot-type player with the size, the length, the versatility, the intelligence, the leadership. All that stuff kind of screams Patriot to me.

“Those are kind of a couple examples, but I just think, again, faster, more dynamic, more explosive has
got to be an area they’ve got to look at in this draft.”

Williams is coming off a torn ACL suffered in the national championship game, but assuming he heals properly, he’d provide a major boost to a Patriots receiving corps that recently added veteran DeVante Parker but still could use a young, blue-chip talent. In his lone season at Alabama — a program that’s produced four Patriots draft picks in the last three years — the Ohio State transfer caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The problem: Despite his injury, Williams might be long gone by No. 21, with many analysts projecting he’ll go in the mid-teens or earlier.

Lloyd, meanwhile, would patch a much larger hole in the Patriots’ roster, buttressing a linebacking corps that looked old and slow down the stretch and thus has made just one external offseason addition (Mack Wilson, who arrived via trade from Cleveland). He was extremely productive at Utah, racking up 110 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, eight sacks, four interceptions and 10 passes defended in 2021.

Opinions on Lloyd vary, with some experts viewing him as a borderline top-10 pick and others predicting he’ll slide to the bottom of the first round. He’s widely regarded as the top off-the-ball ‘backer in this class, however, and as such could be out of the Patriots’ reach without a trade-up.

The 2022 NFL Draft begins next Thursday, April 28.

Thumbnail photo via Gary Cosby Jr./USA TODAY Sports Images
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