The 2020 NFL Draft is just under a month away, which means that The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be looked at heading into this year’s draft including what their needs are and who they could be targeting. The New England Patriots will be the 20th team evaluated.
The Patriots won the first eight games on their schedule, but lost four of their last eight to finish 12-4. They made the playoffs, but were bounced out of the playoffs in the Divisional Round by the Tennessee Titans. Tom Brady left in free agency, which means the Patriots will be ushering in a new era in 2020.
New England’s offense scored 26.1 points per game, which ranked seventh in the league. Their 247.6 passing yards per game ranked eighth and 106.4 rushing yards per game ranked 18th. Tom Brady threw for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 60.8 percent completion. Julian Edelman was the only receiver to accrue over 1,000 yards and also had 100 catches. Sony Michel led all running backs with 912 rushing yards. Now the Patriots will have to find a new quarterback, whether that be Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer or someone not on the roster. Joe Thuney was given the franchise tag, which keeps together a solid offensive line.
Their defense was the best in the NFL, allowing just 14.4 points per game. They were first in the league in passing yards allowed at 173.9 yards per game and were eighth against the run at 101.7 yards allowed per game. While some players from their front seven were lost, like Kyle Van Noy, they added defensive tackle Beau Allen. They’ll need several players on the defensive line to step up, including Chase Winovich and Deatrich Wise. With Dont’a Hightower back at linebacker, the Patriots will at least have one key veteran to lead them in the front seven. The talented secondary will stay intact, as they’ll have Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Patrick Chung, the McCourty twins and new addition Adrian Phillips. Some more players need to be added through the draft, but New England should have a solid season on the defensive side of the ball once again.
2020 NFL Draft Picks
The Patriots have 11 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 23
Second Round (no picks):
Third Round (three picks): No. 87, No. 98, No. 100
Fourth Round (one pick): No. 125
Fifth Round (one pick): No. 173
Sixth Round (three picks): No. 205, No. 213, No. 214
Seventh Round (two picks): No. 231, No. 242
Quarterback- The Patriots haven’t made a trade or signed some of the free agent quarterbacks on the market. They need to find one in case Jarrett Stidham isn’t the answer.
Wide receiver- Last season, Mohamed Sanu was traded for and N’Keal Harry was drafted, but neither was able to play up to par. They are ok when healthy, but the Patriots need a true number one receiver.
Tight End- Ever since Rob Gronkowski retired, the Patriots haven’t had a great tight end. That needs to be addressed at some point.
Edge Rusher- They got a steal with Chase Winovich last season, but need to find someone else who can generate pressure.
Defensive Tackle- Beau Allen was signed, but that won’t be enough to help them stop the run as well as last year.
Linebacker- Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy left in free agency, so players who can fill their spots are needed.
2020 NFL Draft Targets
Pick No. 23: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
With the Patriots not showing much of an inclination to get a free agent quarterback, they may actually believe in Jarrett Stidham. If that’s the case, they need to address edge rusher relatively early. Gross-Matos is an athletic defensive end that could be a good edge rusher to pair with Winovich. New England’s defense will take a step back if they don’t find some edge rushing help.
Pick No. 87: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
At some point, the Patriots will have to address the quarterback situation. In Jake Fromm they will be getting an experienced starter, who doesn’t have great physical tools, but does have the smarts to play quarterback in the NFL. Bill Belichick can develop him just like he did Brady, if they don’t believe in Stidham.
Pick No. 98: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
Trautman went to a non-scholarship FCS school, but played well enough to get noticed by NFL scouts. He has some work to do in terms of technique and understanding the game, but the Patriots can work with him on that. They need to get weapons for whoever their new quarterback is going to be.
Pick No. 100: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
After losing linebackers in free agency, the Patriots need to get some new ones. Davis-Gaither is a smaller, but fast linebacker who should be able to help in coverage in sub packages, while he develops into a more full-time player.
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