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) /
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New England Patriots
Devin Lloyd #0 of the Utah Utes (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots draft target No. 1: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

While every other player on this list has a potential hang up in terms of their draft selection, Devin Lloyd seems to the perfect fit. He is widely expected to be picked somewhere in the 20’s which is right where New England is located. In terms of his play style, positional fit, and potential draft position, Lloyd is exactly what the New England Patriots are looking for.

Lloyd put together an absolutely dominant 2021 season for the Utah Utes. He finished with 111 tackles, 22 of which went for a loss, seven sacks, four interceptions, and two touchdowns. While these numbers are obviously much more dominant than a guy like Dean, Lloyd admittedly wasn’t playing the same level of competition as him at Utah.

Whereas Dean is undersized for the linebacker spot, Lloyd looks like he was built to play linebacker. He’s a big linebacker who comes in a 6-3, 235 lbs, but also has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline while starting in the middle of the field. Lloyd was lined up all over the defense during his time with Utah, so you know his versatility caught Belichick’s eye.

There aren’t a ton of things to dislike about Lloyd and his skillset. Considering his size, he isn’t the most physical guy on the planet, and he probably never will be. But he has the smarts and technique to be able to overcome that, and that will be the key for him making the transition to the NFL.

Next. 5 players the Patriots must take throughout the 2022 NFL Draft. dark

If New England stays put at the #21 pick, Lloyd is the best possible pick for the future of the team. He would immediately be able to come in and aid an undermanned linebacker corps, and his skillset and play style is exactly what Belichick looks for in linebackers. Dean may have more upside than Lloyd, but Lloyd is the safer bet, and better scheme fit, with the Patriots, making him the ideal selection when the team comes up to pick at No. 21 in the first round.