With the No. 76 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Patriots select:
In 2019, the New England Patriots could had selected Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown. Instead they took Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry.
That wasn’t the only miss. New England also could have had South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, Georgia’s Mecole Hardman or Ole Miss’ D.K. Metcalf.
Four years later, I pray they right that wrong.
I don’t know where Ole Miss finds receivers, but MAN, do they find tremendous athletes. Mingo is the latest and I really hope the Patriots see what I see in him.
Besides being well built at 6-1 220 pounds, Mingo has deep speed (4.46 40-yard dash). He was often targeted for receiver screens to utilize his yards after catch ability. So even if Mingo doesn’t pick up the playbook quickly, there are still ways to get Mingo on the field to take advantage of his physical gifts.
Some analysts think Mingo is big slot. Initially, I’ll say yes, but he has the potential to develop into much more than that.
And it seems experts agree. Mingo’s stock has been rising. Originally Mingo was expected to go in the fourth round. Well Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager just mocked Mingo in the first round. If Mingo isn’t selected in the second round, I would pull the trigger now.
But watch the Patriots skip Mingo for someone like BYU’s Puka Nacua in the sixth round. For now, New England gets around to selecting a starting corner. While many want a physical freak like Kansas State’s Julius Brents, I stay within the 6-1 and under range and go with Alex Austin.
Austin has high character off the field and is high caliber on it. He’s active in the Oregon community, including starting his own charity. He has experience playing receiver and returning kickoffs and punts. And he’s a willing tackler.
While it would be good if the Patriots draft a corner in the third, New England should select a corner sooner, like they should had last year. Marcus Jones isn’t a starting outside corner and Jack Jones’ suspension near the end of last season is concerning from an outsider’s view.
If Jack Jones’ suspension isn’t a big deal, there’s still the question of who has the potential to become a shutdown corner. The chances of finding one is much better when drafted in the first or second round.