Who do analysts think the Pats will draft? Some consensus picks
Rob Ferguson / USA Today Sports
With the NFL Combine wrapped up, NFL analysts around the world of journalism are mocking more drafts than ever before. Taking the results into account, who are they predicting the Patriots will draft? Here are a few consensus picks.
QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
With no backup plan for Tom Brady after trading away Jimmy Garoppolo, it's obvious the Patriots will be drafting a quarterback this year. Mason Rudolph put up video game-like numbers last year, and he's got natural talent and experience in a pass-heavy offense. Rudolph indicated that he'd be thrilled to learn from Tom Brady in his press conference at the Combine. Most importantly, he should be available at pick 43 (the Patriots' second-rounder acquired for Garoppolo). ESPN's Mike Mayock,MassLive, PatsPulpit, and the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian all think Rudolph should be on the Patriots' radar.
OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller could slide in as a perfect Nate Solder replacement, assuming the Pro Bowler decides to leave in free agency. He's got similar size (6'8", 310 lbs) and athleticism (he recorded a record 10'1" broad jump at the combine) to Solder, and with the help of O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia, he could be starting in his first year. WalterFootball and Rotoworld both mocked him to New England at pick #31.
DL Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
Hubbard has the potential to be the next Chandler Jones along the Patriots defense. He played both on the edge and standing up at Ohio State, and he could pair perfectly with Dont'a Hightower and Trey Flowers rushing the quarterback. While he only recorded seven sacks last year (a byproduct of playing with other standout D-linemen), his versatility and pedigree (he had lacrosse scholarship offers in high school) make him a prototypical Belichick target. NFL.com's Chad Reuter connected Hubbard to New England (along with the Patriots' official website) and USA Today's Luke Easterling projected him to the Pats in the early second round.
DB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson led the FBS in interceptions last season, and he would have the opportunity to challenge for a starting role immediately (assuming Malcolm Butler leaves New England as expected). He's got the ballhawk skills to thrive at the NFL level, and displayed sufficient athleticism at the Combine to position his stock in the first round range. He's a good potential target for the Pats at #31, per Chad Reuter once again.
RB/H-Back Jaylen Samuels, NC State
Samuels deployed as a hybrid weapon with the Wolfpack, lining up all across offensive formations and receiving a steady diet of 10+ touches a game. With Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead both free agents, New England might be wise to add a supplemental piece to the stable, and Samuels can offer additional receiving and tight-end abilities to boot. NESN and PatriotsWire have written pieces projecting him to New England; he should be available on Day 2.