The Patriots dynasty kept on keeping on en route to a sixth Super Bowl title in 2018, but now the team must turn their attention to the 2019 NFL Draft.
Another year, another Lombardi trophy.
The New England Patriots continue to collect Super Bowl titles like they’re one sale at Costco but with another championship also comes more added pressure to repeat, which makes the NFL Draft one of the most important parts of the roster-building process going into next season.
The Pats enjoyed significant contributions from 2018 first-round pick Sony Michel and hope to land a player with a similar impact early on in the 2019 draft.
Do the rich keep getting richer? They certainly might if you’re a New England fan, as this year the Pats could wind up with as many as 12 picks when compensatory selections are factored in. With those comp picks not slated to be announced until the end of the month, we’ll for now take a look at the picks the team currently has on the books. The team will pick three times in the first two rounds and also owns a third-round pick from the Lions, as well as three seventh-round picks (their own plus picks from Cleveland and Philadelphia).
Free agency and the Combine will undoubtedly have a huge impact on how the proceeding seven-round mock draft plays out, but for now, here’s a look at what I think the Pats may do on draft day.
While it’s unlikely that cornerback Jason McCourty leaves in free agency this offseason, both he and twin brother Devin could potentially be on the market after next season. This means that the Patriots would be wise to continue to invest in their secondary of the future. The curious absence of last year’s second-round pick Duke Dawson also means the team could re-focus on the secondary in 2019.
One player who could fit at the end of the first round, particularly if most of the premiere edge rushers are off the board, is Washington cornerback Byron Murphy.
While Murphy doesn’t have quite the size and length that NFL teams have coveted in recent years, he has outstanding production and short-area quickness. Despite playing in just 20 games with the Huskies, Murphy racked up six interceptions and 20 passes defended to go along with 74 total tackles.
He can play a little out of control at times but there’s no doubt that he has the short-area quickness that the Patriots love to see in their defensive back prospects. Don’t be surprised if Murphy posts one of the best three-cone times at the upcoming NFL Combine, something that, combined with his upside, could vault him into the first round.