Pre-Super Bowl 7-round New England Patriots 2018 mock draft, with trades

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 7 : Quarterback Mason Rudolph
STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 7 : Quarterback Mason Rudolph /
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New England Patriots
WACO, TX – OCTOBER 28: Malik Jefferson /

Round 2, Pick 64: ILB Malik Jefferson, Texas

Malik Jefferson spent three seasons at the University of Texas and declared for the NFL Draft after his junior year. In those 3 seasons, he played in 34 games for the Longhorns and recorded 231 total tackles, 13 sacks, and a fumble returned for a touchdown. 110 of those tackles came this season. While Jefferson won’t add much to the pass rush, he will succeed in the NFL as a middle linebacker. Questions still remain regarding Dont’a Hightower’s health, but even if he’s good to go it would be nice to get a young talent in the system to learn from him. Jefferson could develop into the next leader of the Patriots defense. He’s a very strong prospect, and most think he will have a very successful, long NFL career.

"“Jefferson has instincts and shows skill to read his keys to get in position to make plays. He has a developed body with the size and strength to play at the next level.  In run defense, Jefferson is at his best when he can use his speed to hunt down ball-carriers. He is fast to shoot gaps and fire into the backfield or the flat. Jefferson tackles well in the open field, is a physical hitter, and generally takes good angles. He has the skill set to produce more with the potential to make an impact as a run defender. In pass coverage, Jefferson shows a nice ability to flow in zone coverage. He reads plays quickly and picks up receivers who come into his area.”"

Honestly, Jefferson seems like the type of linebacker that New England is missing. He can help in both the run game and the passing game and is extremely quick to react. He’s the perfect fit.