New England Patriots: Do’s and Don’ts for the 2022 NFL Draft

Jameson Williams #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Jameson Williams #1 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots defensive end Ronnie Perkins (51). Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots “don’ts” in the 2022 Draft

The Patriots’ personnel operation under Belichick should be cognizant that they have had a largely dismal record drafting certain positions. Three sports come readily to mind; cornerback, linebacker/edge, and wide receiver.

Recent flops include N’Keal Harry, a first-round wide receiver in 2018, and Joejuan Williams a second-round pick in 2019. Both have failed to establish themselves as starting caliber players to this point.

At the linebacker/edge group, Chase Winovich, a third round selection in 2019, shined early but has faded since. Ronnie Perkins, a third-round edge player drafted in 2021, may emerge in the future, but he couldn’t get on the field at all this season. And Anfernee Jennings, a third-round pick in 2020, hasn’t done anything. That’s a boatload of misses.

Now before the walls come down upon this space, yes, it is understood that no team drafts perfectly all the time. That’s fine, but the Patriots’ lack of success in these three positions is a pattern and it should not be repeated early in the draft. Instead, the team should concentrate on the positions at which they draft well, with the previously noted exception at wide receiver.

Those positions are offensive line, defensive line, and running back. Since the team is fairly well set at running back (unless Brandon Bolden leaves in free agency), then the suggestion here is the team would be well-advised to add cornerbacks and linebackers in free agency.

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Clearly, there can be differences of opinion on priorities in the draft. This suggestion is based on the team’s drafting history in recent years. Yet, that notwithstanding, this space will not be surprised if the team drafts a corner and linebacker/edge in the first two rounds.

That’s their right and that’s their choice. Yet, if they flop on those picks as they have in the past, then New England Patriots fandom can comment as they see fit. Draft to your strengths New England Patriots, and we’ll all be better for it.