Patriots land perfect Dont’a Hightower successor in ESPN’s 2022 mock draft

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There’s a linebacker in the 2022 NFL draft who appears to be a perfect fit for the New England Patriots, according to ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid.

It’s Utah’s Devin Lloyd.

He’s the player that Reid pegged as a future Patriot in a 2022 NFL mock draft on ESPN. It’s mighty early to be making declarative statements about the NFL draft. Even in April, predictions are practically impossible. But there’s a lot to like about Lloyd, particularly as it pertains to taking a versatile defender like him and putting him into a multiple defense like the one in New England. Reid even tweeted it was “easily one of my favorite fits.

From ESPN:

“After the trade of Stephon Gilmore, cornerback and linebacker are likely the two biggest holes for New England entering the 2022 offseason. Lloyd is a versatile second-level defender who could provide value in multiple areas, and the Patriots don’t have high-end options after Dont’a Hightower. Lloyd, who has 85 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions this season, could excel in a multiple-front defense that involves interchanging parts, and he’ll pick up pressures as a blitzing pass-rusher as well.”

So far in 2021, Lloyd has 85 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown. He accepted a Senior Bowl invite, a gesture that seems to impress the Patriots, whose top pick in the last two drafts attended the event.

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