Post-Super Bowl Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft: NE Invests in Offense

This New England Patriots post-Super Bowl mock draft sees the team target offensive improvements.
Nov 25, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) during warmups
Nov 25, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) during warmups / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Fifth Round (135th Overall): Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State

Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are both pending free agents and could very easily be out of the door. Even if Gesicki hangs around, he is a liability in the blocking game.

Stover caught 41 passes for 576 yards and five touchdowns for the Buckeyes this season. His 6'4", 251 pound frame "allows him to play both on and off the ball comfortably". As a pass-catcher, Stover has "Great hand-eye coordination and firm hands. Regularly makes high-difficulty receptions in traffic and adjusts to the ball well." Stover is also an impact player in the blocking game as a "strong and willing blocker".

Stover should slide in as another weapon for Daniels while also contributing to the blocking game.

6. Sixth Round (181st Overall): D.J. James, CB, Auburn

The only defensive player on this list, James began his collegiate career at Oregon before transferring to Auburn, earning significant playing time at both stops.

From Bleacher Report's NFL Scouting Department:

"James is an intriguing prospect who has the desired length and speed to play the position in the NFL. He will need to continue to work on filling out his frame and increasing his functional strength, but he has the skills to build on. James is a high-level developmental prospect who has the potential to be a contributor early in his NFL career."

BR's NFL Scouting Department

There are a ton of question marks in the cornerback room. Myles Bryant will be hitting free agency, promising rookie Christian Gonzalez is coming off of a season-ending Week 4 injury, Marcus Jones hasn't shown a ton of reliability in pass coverage (and also suffered a season-ending injury), and J.C. Jackson has been engulfed in reliability concerns. James should provide some additional depth and youth at the position.

7. Seventh Round (228th Overall) via Chicago Bears: Ethan Driskell, OT, Marshall

Driskell is a 6'8" behemoth at right tackle and will be a project, but at least an investment in his development should be a better alternative than running it back with Riley Reiff or Conor McDermott.

Once again operating under the assumption that Trent Brown and Onwenu will not be returning to New England next season, the Patriots need to invest in the trenches. If Driskell is starting Week 1, then you're probably in trouble, but New England would be foolish to not have insurance on the line after a disastrous performance as a unit this season.

In other Patriots news: