Zimmer: Patriots 2022 NFL Draft Pick Wish List

Let's do it! I've had some time to think about where the Patriots need to improve, and I'm proud to present my conclusions.


Here's my wishlist for the Patriots in the 2022 NFL Draft.


Jake Zimmer’s Big Board


Round 1, Pick 21:

CB Andrew Booth, Clemson

OR

LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

  • Every year, the Patriots fall into a vicious cycle of compromises at either the cornerback or linebacker roles. JC Jackson’s doing well? Great, because your edge rushers suck! Linebackers performing above average? How about an unexpected contract holdout or injury. Well, JC Jackson isn’t walking through that door after signing with the Chargers, and who knows how Dont’a Hightower will look next year, so it’s time to pick an immediate defensive contributor. Andrew Booth radiates energy and aggressiveness to all his teammates whenever he graces the field, and he’d do well in a Pats scheme that is more zone-heavy than it traditionally has been. Devin Lloyd could be the next dominant leader at linebacker, similar to the way Jerod Mayo or Tedy Bruschi were in years of old. With an aging Dont’a Hightower who has definitely skipped a beat after opting out of the 2020 season, maybe Lloyd would be his logical replacement.

Round 2, Pick 54: WR John Metchie, Alabama

  • Metchie said “I think Mac 10 and I would be special, for sure,” just a few weeks ago. Well, I certainly think so, too. Yes, he’s coming back from an ACL tear and isn’t the biggest WR that might be available at this slot, but if you just listened to Nick Saban’s comments about him, you might fall in love. The Patriots already have guys that have size & speed…now it’s about technical, coverage-manipulating WR’s. Metchie is the guy for that mold, and his value is multiplied when you reunite him with his former QB.

Round 3, Pick 85: OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Georgia

  • Petit-Frere, standing at an above-average 6’5”, 315, has the body to be an NFL tackle. He’s a technical guy that, according to scouts, has an above-average lower-body explosion, especially in the run game. On the other hand, he’s been ranked a below-average pass blocker, but that’s nothing OL coach Carmen Bricillo can’t teach.

Round 4, Pick 127: WR Romeo Doubs, Nevada

  • New England has met with Doubs three times before the draft. He’s surpassed the 1k receiving yards marker each of the last two seasons, and has shown effectiveness as a receiver in contested plays. He’s got some promise as an NFL receiver, even if it’s not this year. One thing is for sure with New England; you cannot have enough receivers. Doubs is worth this pick, even if he does not contribute in 2022.

Round 5, Pick 158: S Verone McKinley, Oregon

  • McKinley had a phenomenal year in Oregon that’s allowed him to rise up the draft boards a bit in recent weeks. Pro Football Network called him a “true student of the game,” showing above-average football IQ, reading the field extremely well and impressing in zone coverage. He rarely misses his coverage assignments, and has good ball-skills to pose a threat to opposing receivers. The Pats have proven over the years that they can have successful defensive backs, even though they might be considered undersized. McKinley fits that mold, and he’d be an excellent get here in Round 5.

Round 6, Pick 183: OL Chris Paul, Tulsa

  • Paul could be the answer to a few big questions. Much like Petit-Frere, he’s got a 6-4, 320 frame that can absolutely maul opposing defensive lines. Scouts have loved his hands, showing a technical expertise in both run- and pass-blocking. With more offensive line depth needed after Ted Karras’ departure, I see Chris Paul as a guy who can get significant reps in 2022. Paul is also a guy who has been very active in his community and has showed a passion for giving back, and with the Pats’ knack for finding leaders, they may stumble across one in the 6th round.

It's hard to pass up on a guy with a frame like Chris Paul (Tulsa). PIC: Brett Rojo/Univ. of Tulsa


Round 6, Pick 200: DT Marquan McCall, Kentucky

  • A big man with a big presence, Pro Football Network called him. “Bully Ball McCall” had a breakout year in 2021, as he’d been a reserve for most of his time at Kentucky. He had 57 tackles and 10 TFL’s in his UK career as a nose-tackle. Knowing he had to lean out to have an NFL career, he lost 40 pounds in the offseason (380 to 340). McCall could actually be a pretty good fit in New England, as he can fit a Vince Wilfork-type mold. They called him Mr. Energy in high school for a good reason, and hopefully the Pats can leverage that for a couple of extra wins.

Round 6, Pick 210: S Smoke Monday, Auburn

  • Smoke Monday had a solid year with the Tigers in 2021, being named to PFF’s All-SEC Second Team; he made the AP Second-Team the year before. He’s a hard-hitting, physical safety who brings an edge that sets him apart. Monday has taken on the “Safety 2.0” mold, in which he plays a linebacker-type role on running plays and has no problem taking on a sizable coverage role in the pass. There are questions about his ability to play man coverage, and his shortcomings in open-field tackles, but I don’t foresee this as anything that the Patriots can’t coach him up on. Smoke Monday is a guy I’d like to see with the Pats.

Round 7, Pick 245: QB EJ Perry, Brown

  • It’s time to move on from Brian Hoyer and Jaret Stidham. They’ve given the team close to no value over the years other than locker room support and the occasional garbage minute. What better person to liven up the QB room than Brown graduate and Massachusetts native EJ Perry? He earned himself the MVP trophy of the East-West Shrine Bowl, had the second-best vertical jump of any QB in the draft, and an impressive 40-yard dash time. Not to mention, his accuracy and arm strength have Perry moving from off the board entirely, to being seriously considered by other teams as a flier in the last round. Don’t be surprised if Perry ends up in Foxboro.


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