The New England Patriots took a wide receiver in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and, so far, it hasn't worked out. Could they try it again in 2021?
There's no secret N'Keal Harry has not lived up to expectations since the Patriots drafted the former Arizona State wide receiver with the 32nd overall pick a year ago.
Injuries have been a major factor in Harry struggling to make an impact, and on Monday night he will miss his second consecutive game due to a concussion. After Week 9, Harry will have played in just 13 of a possible 24 regular season games since he was drafted.
The Patriots still need a lot of help at wide receiver, and they absolutely should spend at least one pick -- and maybe a few -- in the 2021 NFL Draft to bolster their talent and depth at that position.
Pro Football Focus released its latest 2021 NFL mock draft on Wednesday, and they have LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase going to the Patriots at No. 9 in the first round.
"You don’t need me to explain how receiver is a need for the Patriots. Chase has obviously opted out already, but the fact that he outperformed the now top-performing rookie receiver (Justin Jefferson) as a true sophomore last year in a role more translatable to the NFL is good enough to keep him as WR1."
Chase is not playing for LSU this year. As noted above, he opted out of the 2020 season. However, most mock drafts have him being the first wide receiver selected in the upcoming draft.
He tallied 84 receptions for 1,780 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns for the Tigers last season, which also was LSU quarterback Joe Burrow's Heisman Trophy-winning campaign. LSU won the national title as well.
The Patriots have many needs on offense to address before next season, including wide receiver, tight end and offensive line depth.
If the Patriots do decide to improve their offense in the first round, a player with No. 1 wide receiver potential such as Chase would be an excellent option.