Building back up the New England Patriots with a four-round 2021 NFL mock draft.
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are about to embark on their most difficult season in recent memory. Not only will they have to replace legendary quarterback Tom Brady, but the Patriots are also getting hit harder by COVID-19 opt-outs than any other team in the league.
Due to the pandemic, the Patriots will be without key defenders Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung, starting right tackle Marcus Cannon, pass catchers Marqise Lee and Matt LaCosse, special teams star Brandon Bolden, and depth pieces Danny Vitale and Najee Toran. The New England Patriots were already entering a difficult situation. Adding these opt-outs on top of the Brady loss may be too much for them to handle.
This team has a much slimmer margin of error than before, but there is still plenty to be excited about in New England. Losing Hightower and Chung hurts, but the Patriots still have a strong defensive unit that will make life difficult on opposing offenses. Also, new quarterback Cam Newton comes to Foxborough with a major chip on his shoulder and this coaching staff will undoubtedly put him in situations to succeed.
This team is going to look much different than the past, and I doubt that they can legitimately compete with teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. That being said, I’m not counting anything out when it comes to a Bill Belichick-led squad. This is still a dangerous team that other teams will have to take seriously.
Whether the Patriots legitimately compete in 2020 or not, this is a roster that needs a lot of work. They lack young impact talent on both sides of the ball and need to start hitting on more of their draft picks if the post-Brady era is going to be successful. Here, we are going to go through a quick 2021 NFL mock draft and try to find these potential impact players who fill needs for the team and fit their system well.
Note: The Patriots do not hold a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft due to the sideline taping incident with the Cincinnati Bengals. This 2021 NFL mock draft reflects this lack of a third rounder, but the Pats will likely be loaded with compensatory picks after losing many key free agents over the offseason.
Also, this 2021 NFL mock draft was completed using The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine.