The 2022 NFL Draft begins on April 28, which means that The Game Haus will be debuting draft profiles for every team. Each NFL team will be evaluated heading into this year’s draft, as our staff recaps their last season, highlights their needs and pinpoints their potential 2022 NFL Draft targets. The New England Patriots are the subject of today’s 2022 NFL Draft profile.
The Patriots returned to the postseason after a one-year hiatus following Brady’s departure. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones led the team to a 10-7 record, which was good enough for a Wild Card berth. The team ran into a buzz saw in the form of the Buffalo Bills, who beat them 47-17, and never failed to scored a touchdown on any of their offensive drives.
New England had four Pro Bowlers in 2021, two of whom were All-Pro selections. They need some reinforcements now that the Bills have supplanted them as the class of the AFC East, and the Dolphins improved through free agency acquisitions and trades. Here is how they can use their first three picks to bolster their roster.
2022 NFL Picks
New England will have three picks to use in the first three rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
First Round (one pick): No. 21
Second Round (one pick): No. 54
Third Round (two picks): No. 85
Offensive line- Ted Karras and Shaq Mason left in free agency, so the Patriots need some offensive line help. Especially on the interior of the line.
Wide receiver- The Patriots’ receiver room has been the topic of much conversation since even before Brady left. They still need more talent, as they tend to whiff on receivers in the draft and only fill holes via less-than-splashy free agency signings. DeVante Parker helps, but they need to hit on a wideout in this draft, even if it is just to silence critics.
Cornerback- Losing Pro Bowler and All-Pro corner J.C. Jackson really hurts this team. Knowing Belichick’s defensive schemes, any defensive back they draft should have a modicum of early success, so they cannot wait to replace him.
2022 Draft Targets
Pick No. 21: Tyler Linderbaum, OL, Iowa
Iowa has a reputation for passing on great offensive line talent to the next level. Belichick has to know that grabbing an Iowa offensive lineman has incredible upside, barring some unfortunate injury. He was a unanimous All-American selection in 2021, as well as a Rimmington Trophy winner. He also has plenty of experience, as he stayed in school through his junior year.
Pick No. 54: John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
This is an incredibly deep draft for wide receiver talent. There will be plenty of players around this pick that could’ve been late first round talent in other drafts, so they cannot really go wrong here. Picking a receiver such as Metchie out of a football powerhouse, though, makes the most sense.
Metchie had 96 receptions for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. He showed his prowess as a big play receiver in 2020, when he had 55 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns. A much smaller workload, but similar production numbers. He could be the drafted receiver that New England has been looking for.
Pick No. 85: Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
Bryant, like many Cincinnati players, flew up draft boards after the Bearcats became the first non-Power 5 school to reach the College Football Playoffs. He was a five year player at Cincinnati that had 44 total tackles, two forced fumbles and three interceptions in 2021.
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