Patriots

Here's who Willie McGinest predicts Patriots will play in Super Bowl LIII

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Here's who Willie McGinest predicts Patriots will play in Super Bowl LIII

The New England Patriots are trying to become the first team in more than two decades to reach the Super Bowl three straight seasons, and one of their former players is predicting it will happen.

Willie McGinest, who works for NFL Network and had a brilliant 12-year career with the Patriots that included three championships, recently predicted on "NFL Total Access" that his former team will play the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

Pats-Saints probably is the most appealing matchup possible. A Super Bowl between two of the best quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, would be awesome to watch. The Kansas City Chiefs playing against the Saints likely would be a classic game as well, given the offensive firepower on both sides. But any time you have two of the greatest players in NFL history competing for the ultimate prize, it's a matchup to savor.

The Saints are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, so they have homefield throughout the postseason. This means they will play indoors the whole way through, including a potential Super Bowl showdown at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Patriots are the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and host their Divisional Round game on Jan. 13.

The NFL playoffs begin Saturday with two Wild Card Weekend games.

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Here are Patriots' options at tight end with T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant off the board

Here are Patriots' options at tight end with T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant off the board

The two top-tier tight ends in the 2019 NFL Draft are off the board.

Iowa's T.J. Hockenson went eighth overall to the Detroit Lions and his teammate Noah Fant went 20th to the Denver Broncos.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Patriots are SOL in the TE department.

There’s Alabama’s Irv Smith, Dawson Knox from Ole Miss, Jace Sternberger from Texas A&M, Kahale Warring from San Diego State and Foster Moreau from LSU all remaining on the board. Within that group alone there’s a variety of talents the Patriots can target. And all should be on the board at No. 32 and into Friday.

Meanwhile, there’s been no run at all on wide receivers yet. All are still on the board so, with the bottom tier of the first round closing in, we’ll see if Bill Belichick is interested in veering off his “no first-round wideout” philosophy.

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2019 NFL Draft Tracker: Live results of all 32 first-round picks

2019 NFL Draft Tracker: Live results of all 32 first-round picks

After many long months of scouting and preparation, the time has come for teams to make the first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Round 1 will take place Thursday night in Nashville, where the Arizona Cardinals will open the night with the No. 1 overall selection. 

Unlike previous years, the quarterback class isn't amazing, but that isn't likely to stop multiple teams from addressing this important position in the first round. This draft class is most deep and rich at talent on the defensive side of the ball. There are several defensive lineman and defensive backs who project to be very good NFL players, and we should here many of their names on the first night of the draft.

The New England Patriots will close out the first round at pick No. 32 as the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Patriots have traded out of the first round on several occasions during Bill Belichick's tenure, but there haven't been any recent reports suggesting New England is looking to move down from No. 32.

Here's the updated first-round draft order. We will add every pick to the right team as it happens, so be sure to follow this article throughout Thursday night. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET.

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
4. Oakland Raiders: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
6. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky
8. Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (via Denver): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
12. Green Bay Packers: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
14. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
15. Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
16. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, LB, Florida State
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland): Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State
19. Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
20. Denver Broncos (via Pittsburgh): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
21. Green Bay Packers (via Seattle): Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland
22. Philadelphia Eagles (via Baltimore): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
23. Houston Texans: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
25. Baltimore Ravens (via Philadelphia): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
26. Washington Redskins (via Indianapolis): Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (via Kansas City)
30. Seattle Seahawks (via Green Bay, New Orleans)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

Click here for our 2019 NFL Draft rumors live blog>>>

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