New England Patriots 2022 NFL Draft: 5 Targets With No. 21 Pick

New England Patriots 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New England Patriots 2022 NFL Draft (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Zion Johnson, 2022 NFL Draft, New England Patriots
Zion Johnson, 2022 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots 2022 NFL Draft Target #5: Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

The New England Patriots lost both of their starting offensive guards this past season. Ted Karras went to the Cincinnati Bengals and Shaq Mason is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite that, the Patriots really haven’t made any moves to address the starting roles. They could be filled internally, but the 2022 NFL Draft is going to offer more options.

Zion Johnson can play almost anywhere on the offensive line, but his lack of a true fit could force him to slip down the draft. Johnson has a solid blend of power and size that makes him a force on any line. Given the current layout of the Patriots’ offensive line, Johnson would be pushed inside to guard, which is where he’s better fit at the NFL level.

Johnson will have a few things to clean up, but nothing detrimental. They are coachable things, like adjusting mid-play and redirecting on different rush schemes. His best blocking is in a fully formed line, but when he’s forced to go one-on-one he can struggle a bit.

For the Patriots, they’ll need to invest in the offensive line one way or another. The 2022 NFL Draft is deep, so they don’t have to do it in the first round, but it’s an option if the others are off the board.