Patriots

NFL mock draft 2019 roundup: Experts predict Patriots' first-round pick

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NFL mock draft 2019 roundup: Experts predict Patriots' first-round pick

The New England Patriots have spent the last week celebrating their Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams, and you can bet Bill Belichick's attention has already turned to the team's offseason tasks.

One of them is the 2019 NFL Draft, which begins April 25. 

The Patriots have several picks in the first three rounds, which gives them a great opportunity to add valuable depth to their roster and address areas of weakness.

New England's first selection is No. 32, the final pick in Round 1. Belichick struck gold in the first round last year with the selection of Georgia running back Sony Michel, who set a rookie NFL playoff record with six rushing touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in Super Bowl LIII.

This year's draft class is dominated by defensive players. That's good news for the Patriots, who should be able to find plenty of talented players to improve the team's front seven. Another position the Patriots could target in the first round is tight end if Rob Gronkowski decides to retire.

Here's a roundup of post-Super Bowl mock drafts with expert predictions for the Patriots' first-round pick.

Todd McShay, ESPN: Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami (FL)
CBS Sports: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
NFL.com: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Bleacher Report: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Sporting News: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
SB Nation: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Pro Football Focus: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
San Diego Union-Tribune: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

 

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NFL rumors: Rob Gronkowski told teammates after Super Bowl LIII he wanted another ring

NFL rumors: Rob Gronkowski told teammates after Super Bowl LIII he wanted another ring

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski still hasn't announced if he will retire or return for a 10th NFL season, but could he be leaning toward coming back?

Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Tuesday on ESPN show "NFL Live" that the Patriots star's decision on his future could come within the next few weeks. NFL Media's Mike Giardi provided another tidbit of information on Gronkowski's future with a tweet Tuesday.

It's certainly possible the emotions of winning another Super Bowl led to Gronkowski making these comments to teammates. If true, who could blame him?

Gronk endured a difficult 2018 campaign, one that included a dip in performance, inconsistency and three missed games due to injuries. The 29-year-old star did play better in the playoffs, however, and he made one of the most important plays of New England's Super Bowl LIII victory against the Los Angeles Rams.

If the Patriots want Gronkowski back, it would make sense for him to return for another season if he feels he can withstand the physical toll of 16-plus games (including the playoffs). The Patriots, barring major injuries to key players, figure to be among the top contenders for the Super Bowl again next season. A healthy Gronk would give New England a strong chance to become the first team since the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s to reach the Super Bowl four years in a row.

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NFL mock draft 2019 roundup: Experts see Patriots addressing offense in first round

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NFL mock draft 2019 roundup: Experts see Patriots addressing offense in first round

The New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions for a sixth time in franchise history, but they still have plenty of question marks up-and-down their roster entering the 2019 NFL Draft.

One of the largest uncertainties is the future of tight end Rob Gronkowski, whose agent said Tuesday the Patriots star could make a decision on retirement in the next couple of weeks. Another position of need is wide receiver. Juilian Edelman just became the first wideout in 10 years to win Super Bowl MVP, but the Patriots still need more talent and depth at the position. A vertical deep threat who can excel outside the numbers would be a solid addition for quarterback Tom Brady. Josh Gordon could be that guy, but his status for the 2019 season is up in the air.

Speaking of Brady, is this the draft where New England looks to select the 41-year-old quarterback's eventual replacement? The Patriots have several picks in the first three rounds, so it wouldn't be a shock if they took a chance on one of the top QB prospects. 

Here's a roundup of recent expert NFL mock drafts:

NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
NFL.com's Charley Casserly: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
Walter Football: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Draft Network: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
NFL.com's Maurice Jones-Drew: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
CBS Sports' Pete Prisco: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

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