Final Predictions On Who the Patriots Will Draft (By Need)

So here we are folks. The eve of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. A little more than 24 hours until we begin the selections of 200+ young, hungry players to new teams, additions that will either breathe new lives into those franchises or rip them apart like an affair to a marriage.

But here at El 300s, we care mostly about around 10 of those selections, the ones belonging to the Patriots of House New England**, and I am here today to talk about specifically the first one of those picks. The first round is, obviously, where the perceived best players go. The Pats unfortunately have the last pick (32nd) of that round, owing to the fact that they are very good at professional football. Quite the catch-22. With Tua T. coming out next year, maybe they even tank this year before winning banner number eight, but I digress.

I come to you today as a relapsed draft nerd to make a handful of predictions related to the Pats’ 32nd overall pick in the draft and what they will do with it if they address one of their four major needs: Defensive Tackle, Wide Receiver, Tight End, and some sort of Defensive End/Elephant Backer (from here on out we’ll just label this position EDGE as a lot of sites do now although it seems to be an acronym that stands for nothing and sends my OCD into a tailspin). I am going to eschew things like the Pats trading up down left or right in this one and simply concentrate on the above, grave areas of need. Let’s do it.

Scene: Roger Goodell glides on stage smiling and waving, get’s hit in the face with a brick thrown from the gallery. He is immediately pronounced dead and Chris Slade rushes on stage to read the Pats pick, just in the nick of time…..

Defensive Tackle
With the 32nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select…
Dexter Lawrence (6’4, 342lbs), DT, Clemson
In Lawrence, the Belichick might finally find the gigantic lane-clogger he’s long since desired post-Vince Wilfork. Like Wilfork, Lawrence is not only powerful at the point of attack, but sneaky-nimble and athletic. Most years I am not sure Lawrence would last, but with the league getting more and more pass happy and at least three DTs (Wilkins, Williams, Oliver) slated to go above him, the Pats could get their man.

Wide Receiver
With the 32nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots select…
AJ Brown (6’0. 226lbs), WR, Ole Miss
Like a lot of years, it is going to be a crap shoot in terms of what receiver is taken when. D.K Metcalf will be the first off the board because he lifts a lot and runs fast so who cares about anything else (don’t hate him, just the ignorance in loving him to death is unparalleled). After that who knows, honest to God. With all of that said, here is to hoping AJ Brown is still around. He has a thick frame and can get down the feel better than a lot of people think he can. It’s been a badly kept secret for years that Belichick loves Anquan Boldin, and although not tough as Q, seemingly, YET, with his build Brown could be a successor to the Man From Miami.

With the 32nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots select…
Brian Burns (6’5, 249lbs), DE/OLB, Florida State; Zach Allen (6’4 280 lbs), DE, BC
This is the one and only position I am going to put down two names for. It is also, not coincidentally one of the more fluid positions on the Pats’ D. As I’ve said before, we are blessed with a team that runs its D by what personnel it has, not vice versa. So this pick depends on the Pats looking at what they current have and laying an egg on what they want to do. Burns, size and skillset-wise, is like a wealthy, aristocratic man’s John Simon. From day 1 the team could send him off the edge on passing downs, either from a three-point stance or from a 3-4 LB type positioning. Eventually, with his 4.53 speed, there’s a chance he can learn to cover backs in the flats and what not. Maybe. It’s important to lastly note Burns is the kind of guy who could shoot up draft boards and go Top-15 by Thursday. Zach Allen’s game, on the other hand, is a lot like Trey Flowers. He could immediately cause problems off the end and probably could be popped in the middle a la Flowers on passing downs. Another nifty thing about the former Eagle, and we know Belichick loves nifty things, is he has a knack for swatting passes as well.

Tight End
With the 32nd pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots select…
Jace Sternberger (6’4, 250lbs), Tight End, Texas Agricultural & Mining
This probably appears to be a reach, I know, but the Pats are not as reach-averse as legend has it (Dominique Easley, Isaiah Wynn). But would this even be a reach? Allow yourself a quick history lesson….

Twice in American history, most notably right after WWI, there occurred something called the “Red Scare”. Basically society saw Russia, and more to the point, communism, as some sort of boogeyman and so we all started calling each other communists and locking everyone up. Legit if you shared something and got caught you’d go to jail. My whole kindergarten class minus that asshole Kevin would be in the clink.

My point is this: I could see one of the two Iowa TEs getting picked high and teams suddenly FREAKING OUT that they’d lose out on the remaining Iowa TE or Irv Smith Jr., resulting in all three going a little higher than expected, say 9, 12, 18. That gives 13 picks where teams try not to freak out about their TE need as well, knowing there are guys like Caleb Wilson and Kahale Warring out there, allowing the Pats to land Sternberger. He has good size and length and runs really fluid routes. Most importantly, to our blood pressure and to Coach Belichick, he has excellent hands. He won’t be the blocker Gronk was, right now, but hell maybe with a few more pounds of muscle and a couple of 1-on-1s with Scarnecchia and who knows.

So that wraps it up folks. I have a bagel with my name on it. In my opinion this is one of the most important drafts for the Pats in awhile as they need depth in a number of key areas to continue contending. Buckle up.

P.S – They’re just gonna trade back 6 times and we’re going to have 12 5th round picks in 2023.

**This is how I’ll be naming things for four more weeks.

-Joey B

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