6 Steps to a Perfect NFL Draft for the Patriots

April 24, 2019 - 11:03 am

BOSTON (WEEI) -- The NFL Draft is a day away, and with 12 overall selections, including six in the top 101, the New England Patriots are in position to select impactful players.

Though the Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl title, they have a few big needs on the roster that need to be addressed before training camp in a few months. We've done a Patriots mock draft, but it's nearly impossible to get even one pick correct with how unpredictable Bill Belichick can be.

With that in mind, here's how the Patriots could have the perfect draft to address their needs.

1. Draft a youthful wide receiver who can make impact on Day 1

This may be the biggest need on the entire team given the current depth chart and also how the position is lacking youth. It will be easier said than done, given their lack of success with drafting receivers in the past and how difficult it is for young wideouts to pick up the Patriots offense. Adding a receiver who can contribute and whom Tom Brady can trust may be priority No. 1.

2. Add a potential Rob Gronkowski replacement

If not for the recent addition of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, this would be No. 1, but even with him in the picture, adding a potential franchise tight end is still necessary. The two best tight ends in the draft (Iowa's T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant) likely are out of reach, but the potential is still there to draft a tight end with one of their first few selections who can make an impact for a long time.

3. Select a versatile defensive end

After Trey Flowers signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency, the Patriots didn't really do much to replace him. Michael Bennett is nice, but he's 33 years old and is not a 1-for-1 replacement of Flowers. The Patriots also like their ends to be able to do different things, including playing inside. Adding a player who can line up inside and outside with the ability to get after the quarterback would be a welcome addition.

4. Trade for a veteran wide receiver

Over the years, the Patriots haven't been afraid to use their picks to add a proven veteran during draft weekend. They did it last year with Trent Brown, and it may be a good idea to try it again now. This year the position to target would be wide receiver. The Patriots missed out on the top receivers in free agency (Adam Humphries, Cole Beasley, etc.) and ones they tried to acquire via trade (Sterling Sheperd, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham).

5. Grab an impactful interior defensive lineman

With the departure of Malcom Brown and likely departure of Danny Shelton, the Patriots are likely to add another playeron top of Mike Pennel. This position is said to be one of the deepest in the entire draft, so the position doesn't necessarily need to be addressed with their first couple of selections to get a solid player.

6. Bring in a quarterback who has the potential to be Tom Brady's successor

The draft would not be a bust if this doesn't happen, but if the Patriots identify and select a player who they feel could one day take over for Tom Brady, that would be great. It really doesn't matter what round it is because the position is so important. The Patriots have been connected to a few potential first-rounders.

By Ryan Hannable