2021 NFL Mock Draft roundup: Latest Patriots predictions for first round pick

Nick Goss
·2 min read

2021 NFL Mock Draft roundup: Latest Patriots predictions for first round originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2020 season has been a disappointing one for the New England Patriots, but there's one positive to the team's struggles so far.

The Patriots are 2-5 and sit in 12th place in the AFC standings entering Week 9. As a result, they are currently slotted No. 9 in the updated 2021 NFL Draft first round order. New England hasn't picked in the top 10 since it selected Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo with the No. 10 overall selection in 2008.

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This team has many roster needs to address through the draft. The most interesting one is quarterback. Cam Newton is able to become a free agent after this season, and he has not played well through six games with two touchdown passes and seven interceptions. 

Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham also has failed to impress in his limited action this season. So, finding a quarterback of the future in the upcoming draft definitely is something to strongly consider for head coach Bill Belichick and the team's front office.

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Wide receiver is another problem area on the Patriots roster.

New England selected former Arizona State wideout N'Keal Harry at the end of the first round in 2019, but injuries have prevented him from reaching his full potential to this point. Veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman is 34 years old and has been hit hard by injuries in recent years, and he's currently on injured reserve. Upgrading at wide receiver must be a priority for the Patriots before next season, and the draft is a great place to address that.

Tight end is another roster weakness for the Patriots. They have the fewest receptions from tight ends of any team in the league through eight weeks. New England spent two third-round picks on tight ends in the 2020 draft -- Dalton Keene and Devin Asiasi -- and neither player has made much of an impact this season.

Which players should the Patriots target in Round 1 of next year's draft?

Here's a roundup of recent expert 2021 NFL Mock Draft predictions for the Patriots' first round pick (mock drafts with the Patriots at pick No. 11 were published between Week 7 and Week 8).

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

No. 9: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Glynn Morgan, NBC Sports Chicago

No. 9: Jaylen Twyman, DL, Pittsburgh

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

No. 9: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

Walter Football

No. 9: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

No. 11: Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports

No. 11: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus

No. 9: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, LSU