Patriots seven-round mock draft 6.0, according to the fans
We've done our fair share of mocking this draft season. We've pummeled you with prospect names -- both in our mock drafts and our Prototypical Patriots series -- in the hopes of familiarizing ourselves with as many potential fits for Bill Belichick's program as possible.
Now it's your turn. We gave you an opportunity to put together a mock of your own on Twitter this week, using Twitter polls to gauge your interest in certain players at different points in the draft. All we did was fire up the mock draft machine at The Draft Network, lay out what we thought were the best options for the Patriots when each of their 12 picks came up. You did the rest. As needs came off the board -- you went defensive tackle at No. 32 -- we adjusted the options presented to you to avoid redundancy.
This is a mock draft that is for the people, by the people. Enjoy. (And if you don't enjoy, well, you have only yourselves to blame.)
No. 32: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (43 percent)
This is a really deep draft when it comes to help along the defensive line but if Lawrence is available here, he's a rare enough physical specimen (6-foot-4, 342 pounds, 35-inch arms, 5.0-second 40-yard dash) that he'd be worth a first-round pick.
The Patriots need to replace Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton somehow, and Lawrence would be an immediate plug-and-play option. He beat out Jerry Tillery (19 percent), A.J. Brown (32 percent) and Parris Campbell (6 percent) for your vote.
No. 56: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina (53 percent)
The people love them some Deebo. The Patriots could clearly use some help at receiver, and Samuel would provide them a player who has played inside, outside and has proven to be an electric return man (three kick returns for touchdowns in his career). He's battled injuries in recent years, including a season-ending broken leg in 2017, but in some ways that makes him a classic Patriots second-rounder.
There's some risk involved, but his upside is significant. He beat out Andy Isabella (29 percent), Tytus Howard (9 percent) and Kaleb McGary (9 percent) for your vote.
No. 64: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M (54 percent)
There are a couple players in this People's Choice Mock that I haven't had going to the Patriots in any of our five mocks this spring, and Sternberger is one of them. The reason? He's not the athlete the Patriots have typically drafted at this spot in early rounds. His 4.75-second 40 is a tick slower than what the team has typically drafted, as is his 7.19 three-cone drill. His vertical (31.5 inches) and short shuttle (4.31) also leave a little to be desired. But he's a big slot who has shown an ability to run crisp routes and create yards after the catch.
He did make our Prototypical Patriots list this year because of his big-time production in the SEC. He might not have been my choice late in the second round -- I might've waited until the fourth and taken LSU's Foster Moreau -- but it wasn't my pick to make. Sternberger beat out West Virginia quarterback Will Grier (39 percent), Ohio State wideout Terry McLaurin (4 percent) and Wisconsin offensive lineman David Edward (3 percent) for your vote.
No. 73: Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College (52 percent)
This is where things got interesting. Allen is not a "prototypical" Patriots edge defender. At 6-4, 281 pounds, he's heavier than what the Patriots typically have on the edge but much lighter than what they like from their versatile interior linemen. (Lawrence Guy, for instance, is about 300 pounds.) Even if we put Allen's frame to the side, his athletic testing numbers (5.0-second 40, 32-inch vertical, 112-inch broad, 7.34-second three-cone) are a little under what the Patriots have drafted in the past.
His playing style certainly fits, though. As a power rusher off the edge and someone who can kick inside in passing situations, he's exactly what the Patriots like. I see where you're going here. Allen beat out 'Bama sub rusher Christian Miller (28 percent), Vandy corner Joejuan Williams (9 percent) and Iowa defensive back Amani Hooker (11 percent) for your vote.
No. 97: Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame (50 percent)
Boykin is one of the most athletic players in the draft, regardless of position. He checks every box the Patriots are looking for athletically, though his 4.42-second 40-yard dash time is (remarkably) a shade slower than the highly-drafted boundary receivers the Patriots have taken before. That's more a statement on the burners the Patriots invested in previously than it is a knock on Boykin's speed. He can fly.
If the Patriots want a contested-catch monster on the outside, Boykin could be their choice, and in the third round he might be a steal. He beat out Georgia receiver Mecole Hardman (26 percent), Stanford linebacker Bobby Okereke (14 percent) and Oregon edge/linebacker Justin Hollins (10 percent) for your vote.
No. 101: Bobby Evans, OL, Oklahoma (34 percent)
Apparently you felt as though you'd passed on linemen long enough. Evans seems to hit all the criteria the Patriots look for up front — smart, tough, athletic enough — as he was an effective puller who played both tackle spots on one of the best offensive lines in the country. Patriots need a swing tackle, and Evans could be the answer there.
Interestingly enough, most of you actually wanted a quarterback here. NC State's Ryan Finley (30 percent) and Auburn's Jarrett Stidham (24 percent) split the quarterback vote, though, and Evans came out on top.
No. 134: Jahlani Tavai, LB, Hawaii (43 percent)
In the fourth round, you opted to go with a classic Patriots off-the-ball linebacker. At 6-2, 250 pounds, Tavai certainly has the size that Belichick usually covets here. But if you watch Tavai's tape, you know he's far from lumbering. He has sideline-to-sideline ability, he's played on special teams, and he has experience rushing the passer as well.
A queen-on-the-chess-board type for New England's front seven early on Day 3? Why not? Even with Ja'Whaun Bentley slated to take on a significant role at this position next season, it's never a bad thing to have depth here. Tavai beat out Eastern Michigan pass-rusher Maxx Crosby (36 percent), Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson (16 percent) and Nebraska running back Devin Ozigbo (5 percent) for your vote.
No. 205: Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State (39 percent)
Rypien is a little undersized compared to quarterbacks the Patriots have drafted in the past (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) and who didn't play in a Power 5 conference. While Rypien didn't produce against the best of the best, he did rack up massive numbers, with a 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, a 64 percent career completion mark and a yards per attempt number of 8.4.
He's not the next Jimmy Garoppolo, but Rypien has shown an ability to look off safeties, a willingness to throw into tight windows, and the fortitude to stand in the pocket and take a hit mid-delivery. He looks like he has traits worth working with as a Day 3 selection. Clearly, you agree. You chose him over North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick (18 percent), Kentucky running back Benny Snell (25 percent) and Oklahoma State pass-rusher Jordan Brailford (18 percent).
No. 239: Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State (78 percent)
Perhaps the best combination of size and athleticism in this year's draft class at this position, Barnes could provide a team significant value in the late rounds if he's available. He ran a 4.59 40, a 6.95 three-cone and a 4.1 short shuttle. He also had some of the best jumps among those at his position at this year's combine (38.5 vertical, 126 broad) and benched a whopping 34 reps of 225 pounds. His physical profile, according to Mockdraftable.com, compares favorably to those of Nick Chubb and David Johnson.
The Patriots could use a big back. But if they're presented an opportunity to get a big back with big-time athleticism, they could jump on Day 3. You went with Barnes over Lehigh big back Dom Bragalone (22 percent), who came up on a recent Next Pats Podcast as we were mining for diamonds in the rough.
No. 243: Nick Easley, WR, Iowa (79 percent)
Easley may not be linked to the Patriots quite as often as his teammates T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant, but he looks like a fit at a position in the New England offense that is just as critical. At 5-foot-11, 203 pounds, he's a solidly-built slot -- like 2009 seventh-round receiver Julian Edelman -- and lightning quick. His 3.87-second short shuttle at Iowa's pro day was better than Edelman's (3.92 seconds) blazing time coming out of Kent State, and it approached the ridiculous number posted by Deion Branch back in 2002 (3.78 seconds). Easley's three-cone time (6.55) was also remarkable.
Easley was the Outback Bowl's most valuable player after hauling in eight passes for 104 yards and two scores against No. 18 Mississippi State. He was also discussed on the Next Pats Podcast when we had Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle on with us to talk draft. You went with Easley over another Prototypical Patriot, Eastern Washington's Nsimba Walker (21 percent).
No. 246: Kyle Phillips, EDGE, Tennessee (53 percent)
Phillips brings some good size to the edge position on Day 3 of the draft in this scenario. This might be a bit of a redundant selection after Allen was taken early, but at 6-4, 270 and with 34-inch arms, he has the look of a base end with promise. He had just four sacks as a senior, but he has some intriguing traits to work with and he reportedly performed well at this year's East-West Shrine Game. You took Phillips over Maryland edge defender Jesse Aniebonam (47 percent).
No. 252: Andrew Van Ginkel, LB, Wisconsin (58 percent)
Van Ginkel looks like an interesting candidate for kicking-game work. His size at linebacker (6-3, 241) makes him bigger than most if he plays off the ball, but he might be more of an undersized outside linebacker. Where Van Ginkel really stands out is with his jumps and his agility drills, making him look like an elite athlete at the position.
He jumped 38 inches in the vertical (87th percentile at his position), 123 inches in the broad jump (85th), and he ran a 6.89-second three-cone (82nd), as well as a 4.14-second short shuttle (82nd). Those numbers might be worth a late-round swing. You might've just liked his name, but he'd be an intriguing choice late. He got the nod over North Carolina linebacker Cole Holcomb (42 percent), who's an outstanding athlete in his own right.