NFL Draft Tonight: Who the Patriots Should Target 

Ben Grossman '22, Executive Producer

The New England Patriots are currently in no-man’s land in regards to their position in the NFL.  They are not a Super Bowl contender at the moment, but they are strong enough to win a few games and potentially reach the playoffs. Some of the biggest needs the Patriots have in this year’s NFL draft (April 28th-30th), are wide receivers, offensive lineman, and cornerback.


Some of the top wide receivers in this year’s draft class include: Drake London and Jameson Williams. London is a big body receiver out of University of Southern California, at 6’5, 210 pounds. He is an absolute beast and can do serious damage in the redzone. Williams is on the opposite side of the spectrum as London; Williams is 6’1, 189 pounds and comes from the University of Alabama. Williams is also one of the fastest players entering the NFL as he ran a 4.25 second 40 yard dash. Another benefit of Williams is that he has played with Mac Jones before as the two were on Alabama’s offense at the same time. 


Offensive linemen have been a problem for the Patriots throughout the past decade as the team seems to constantly rotate them through. However, this draft class could potentially help them bring in their next big star. Evan Neal would be a prime selection for the Patriots as he has history at both tackle and guard. Neal is a physical phenomenon standing at 6’8, 337 lbs, making him one of the biggest players in the NFL once he is drafted. Just like Williams, Neal played at Alabama. A second lineman that the Patriots could try and pick up is Ikem Ekwonu from North Carolina State. Ekwonu is the best run blocker in this year’s class and has plenty of upside. 


This off season, the Patriots lost J.C. Jackson to the Los Angeles Chargers. Jackson is arguably the best cornerback in the NFL and has had the second most interceptions in each of the last two seasons. The highest ranked cornerback in this draft class is Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley Jr. was possibly the best defender in 2019 as a freshman at Louisiana State University. Stingley Jr. has since sat the two past seasons due to covid fears and a foot injury derailing him this year.  However, he is healthy now and is ready for the draft. Another cornerback the Patriots could try to go after this year is Ahmad (Sauce) Gardner from the University of Cincinnati. Gardner started for the Bearcats for four years and never allowed a single touchdown.  This past season he especially excelled allowing only 131 yards as a member of the best defense in the country. 


The Patriots have the 21st selection tonight with the NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m. on NFL network.