Next Pats Podcast: Why Patriots should go BIG in the first round, with PFF’s Mike Renner

Justin Leger
NBC Sports Boston

What's the priority for the New England Patriots heading into next month's draft?

They could opt to go in a variety of directions. For one, bringing in another young quarterback in the wake of Tom Brady's departure would make sense. And to help out whoever ends up succeeding Brady under center, they could look to add some weapons at wide receiver and/or tight end.

Another option? Going BIG.

What does that mean, exactly? In the latest Next Pats Podcast, Phil Perry and Pro Football Focus' lead draft analyst Matt Renner of Pro Football Focus explain.

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Perry has his eye on the offensive line, specifically on Josh Jones, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound offensive tackle out of Houston. Renner and PFF have been higher on Jones than most other outlets, and he explains why.

He only had four pressures allowed all season long. He went to the Senior Bowl and was the highest-graded offensive tackle there in one-on-ones, like he has all the length, size, athleticism to play tackle. He's done it at a really high level.

He's a guy who's like, raw with his feet, but the fact he's still getting the job done at a high level -- it almost pushes him up the board. The fact that he has things that can be improved but is already playing like an elite-level tackle. 

Perry also believes the Patriots should bulk up their defensive front, as well as the edge, in next month's draft following the departures of several impactful players in free agency. Renner names Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara as a potential fit.

He fits their mold in terms of he can drop into coverage, and he did that a lot actually at Notre Dame. Has all the skills you want, length, size, like he fits a lot of the profile for them. Not sure he'll be there in the third round and I think first round might be a little rich for him draft wise, so he might be a guy if they do trade down and get more picks that could be a selection for them.

To hear more 2020 NFL Draft talk from Perry and Renner, be sure to subscribe to the Next Pats Podcast.

Next Pats Podcast: Why Patriots should go BIG in the first round, with PFFs Mike Renner originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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