As several teams – including the Patriots – have seen their 2021 season come to an end in recent weeks, several top draft experts have released their first mock drafts of the year.
Daniel Jeremiah, the network’s top draft specialist for the NFL, released his first mock draft of the year on Friday. They have the Patriots choosing Georgia’s defensive tackle, Jordan Davis with number 21 overall.
“Patriots love big guys with unparalleled strength/power,” Jeremiah wrote, “Think of Vince Wilfork. Davies will dominate against the run along with Christian Barmore and provide some pocket push against the pass.”
Jeremiah, On his “Move the Sticks” podcast with Bucky Brooks, he elaborated a bit more on why Davis might be available at number 21 and why he would be a good pick for the Patriots.
“Some teams aren’t going to love him just because they don’t like reverse pass-rushes,” Jeremiah said, “The Patriots love big. You put him with Christian Barmore, you’re going to dominate against races with that group and you’re going to give yourself opportunities to run into quarterbacks.”
“It’s about being able to build pressure,” Brooks said. “They need more pressure,” he said. They like to use a fore-man rush and a lot of fake pressure. Jordan Davis can certainly fit into that mix.
The Bills’ loss in the playoffs to the Patriots, as well as their final four games of the regular season, showed the need to add talent to the front seven. In the final five games of the season, the Patriots allowed 791 rushing yards at 5.2 yards per carry, including 174 rushing yards to the Bills in the wild-card round. He recorded just four sacks in the last five matches.
Drafting Davis would certainly add some much-needed youth to his front seven for the Patriots. But he also shows promise as a run stuffer. He made 32 tackles for Georiga last season, five of which came in defeat. His size can also create a mismatch on the defense’s side as he is 6-foot-6 and weighs 340 pounds.
Dre Harris of Draft Network noted that Davis’ size forced college teams to double their team and Davis has been called “the best interior run defender in the country”.
“He is a player I would consider ‘stronger’ than explosive,” Harris wrote of Davis’ first move. “He does a good job of creating a new line of deceit with his power. His ability to run 2-3 yards behind the center interrupts an offense.”
Davis didn’t have as strong a passer for the running season, recording two sacks in 14 games.
As indicated by Jeremiah, it would be the Patriots’ second straight draft when they selected Barmore in the second round in 2021. Lawrence Guy and Devon Godchaux could be cap casualties as the Patriots are pretty close to the salary range – which would create a need there.
Going through other mainstream mock drafts released this week, draft experts were focusing on the Patriots addressing two areas: front-seven and wide receivers. ESPN’s mail keeper has the Patriots selecting Alabama receiver Jameson Williams in the first round. Athletics Den Bruegler Had New England Picking up Davis’s college teammate, linebacker Nakobe Dean, Alabama receiver John Machi in the first round and in the second.
Sign up for Patriot Updates
Get breaking news and analysis from the football season delivered to your inbox.