New England Patriots: 5 players the team should take with No. 21 overall pick

Devin Lloyd #0 of the Utah Utes (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Devin Lloyd #0 of the Utah Utes (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
New England Patriots
Trent McDuffie #22 of the Washington Huskies (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots draft target No. 2: Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

The top three corners in the 2022 NFL Draft are Ahmad Gardner, Derek Stingley Jr., and Trent McDuffie. Of the three, McDuffie seems to be the only one with any shot of falling to New England at the 21st pick. And if he’s available, he would be the perfect solution to their barren cornerback depth chart.

With Gardner and Stingley garnering praise as potential top 10 picks McDuffie has slipped on some boards as a result. Some see him as a late first round pick, while others think he’s a top 15 player. It appears McDuffie will go at some point in the first, so if the New England Patriots stay put at 21, he could very well fall right into their laps.

Must Read. Jonnu Smith is due for a bounce back season. light

McDuffie saved his best college season for last, and has drawn praise for his lockdown tendencies during his time with the Washington Huskies. McDuffie is a fantastic athlete who excels in man coverage, and you could often find him going step-for-step with the opposing team’s top wideout. He has good coverage techniques in both man and zone schemes, and his background as a wide receiver has helped him lock up his opponents.

The biggest concern with McDuffie is his size. He’s 5-11, 195 lbs, which is a bit undersized for the position. Whereas a guy like Booth plays bigger than his six foot frame, McDuffie doesn’t have the same physical acumen as Booth. He sometimes gets boxed out by bigger receivers on jump balls, and he often has to be aggressive playing against these bigger receivers, which has hurt him occasionally.

While the size is a bit of a concern, McDuffie proved in college he had what it takes lock up opposing wideouts no matter what their skillset was. There are some areas of his game that need polishing, but McDuffie is clearly one of the most NFL ready corners in this draft class, and he could easily slot into New England’s starting lineup in his rookie season.