What Will Patriots Do In NFL Draft? How Mock Drafts, Odds Forecast No. 21 Pick

The consensus suggests that defense is the play


Apr 28, 2022

We’re all wasting our time when it comes to the Patriots’ first-round pick.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s put together all the pieces available and try to get a better idea of what Bill Belichick might do Thursday night.

After a tortuously long run-up, the NFL draft is finally here, and Belichick woke up Thursday morning owning the No. 21 pick. Whether he uses that pick remains to be seen, and as you might have heard, he’s a bit unpredictable when it comes to these sorts of things.

But “shrug emoji” doesn’t really pay the bills when it comes to the content life, and one of the major draws of the draft is its unpredictability. If we all just admit we have no idea what will happen, we won’t look as dumb.

Luckily for football fans, there are plenty of tuned-in experts willing to put their names on a list of names in the form of mock drafts. Similarly, oddsmakers across the world are more than willing to take action on the draft. Eventually, the consensus forms, and we at least have an idea of how things could pan out.

When it comes to the Patriots, here’s what the final mock drafts are saying they could do with their first-round pick Thursday night … assuming, of course, they keep the pick.

Zack Cox, NESN.com: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida (after trading down to No. 30)
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: DB Daxton Hill, Michigan
Todd McShay, ESPN: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: OL Zion Johnson, Boston College
Peter Schrager, NFL Media: LB Quay Walker, Georgia
Ari Meirov, Pro Football Focus: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Matt Youmans, VSiN: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington
Kevin Hanson, Sports Illustrated: LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: EDGE George Karlaftis

That’s a consensus for Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd, with three analysts of a relatively arbitrary list of 10 seeing New England make that selection. Also very much worth noting: All but two of those mock drafts have the Patriots drafting a defensive player at No. 21 (or No. 30, in the case of our own Zack Cox).

Keeping that in mind, the betting market is pretty interesting, at least looking at the sportsbooks for DraftKings and FanDuel.

Here are the “favorites” for position of first Patriots player drafted, per DraftKings Sportbsook:

Defensive back +250
Linebacker +300
Defensive line/EDGE +330
Offensive line +380
Receiver +380

(One somewhat humorous DK-related note: The odds say it’s more likely New England drafts a special teams specialist than a running back.)

The numbers are slightly different at FanDuel and certainly eye-opening if you really think defense is the play.

Receiver +340
Cornerback +340
Offensive line +340
Linebacker +380
Defensive line +500
Safety +600

It’s almost like FanDuel is trying to take some bets, offering a little more return on investment while simultaneously acknowledging what we all kind of know already: No one really knows what Belichick will do.

FanDuel also has a pretty robust draft position over/under market, meaning you can bet on whether a player goes higher or lower than the number. Right now, FanDuel has Lloyd’s over/under set at 19.5. The juice (-148) is considerable on the OVER, which would fall in line with the Patriots taking him at 21.

It’s very much an inexact science to bring all of these things together and get any sort of actual takeaway. There’s not really a direct correlation, and that’s all before we even consider we’re dealing with human beings making picks on projections while on a clock.

It just takes one team to zig for the rest of the draft to achieve pandemonium.

And if the past is any indication, draft night pandemonium is the only sure bet.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Swinger/USA TODAY Sports Images

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