Patriots

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots take exciting WR in Todd McShay's new predictions

Patriots

It's never too early to look at the 2022 NFL Draft, and with the college football regular season already over, we're starting to see several mock drafts published.

ESPN draft expert Todd McShay released a 2022 NFL Mock Draft on Tuesday. Unlike last year when five quarterbacks were selected in the top 15 picks, McShay doesn't project any quarterback being picked until No. 12 overall when the Pittsburgh Steelers take Kenny Prickett from the University of Pittsburgh.

The New England Patriots were one of those teams that chose a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 draft, and in McShay's new mock, they target a talented offensive weapon for Mac Jones.

Colts LB gives Mac Jones, Pats offense some bulletin board material

McShay projects Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks going to the Patriots with the No. 31 overall pick.

Here's part of his explanation for the Burks pick:

"New England signed Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency this year, but it's hard to find a true No. 1 receiver on this roster. To help quarterback Mac Jones continue the impressive start to his career, the Pats should give him a big target outside who can come down with anything. That's Burks, who is 6-foot-3 and can adjust to off-target throws and pluck them out of the air. He isn't a burner, but he is a savvy route runner with 11 touchdown catches this season."

Burks tallied 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns in 12 games for Arkansas. He played very well against some of the best competition in the SEC. Burks caught eight passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in Arkansas' 42-35 loss to No. 2 ranked Alabama in November.

 

The Patriots have taken a wide receiver in the first round only once since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000. That player was N'Keal Harry at the end of Round 1 in 2019. Harry has been a bust so far, but if the right player is available when the Patriots are on the clock, wide receiver isn't a bad position to target with their first pick.

The 2022 draft class, as McShay notes, is pretty deep with wide receivers, so it would behoove the Patriots to take one of these players in the first couple rounds and give Jones some more talent in the passing attack.