New England Patriots 4-Round 2022 Mock Draft

After a down 2020 season, the New England Patriots bounced back in 2021, finishing with a 10-7 record and playoff berth. However, Bill Belichick’s squad suffered an early exit, getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round. New England has been quiet during the offseason and must make its picks count during the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Patriots have multiple needs to address if they want to take the next step in the second season with Mac Jones under center. Wide receiver always seems to be a position of need in New England. Belichick and the front office must also account for the losses of cornerback J.C. Jackson, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and offensive lineman Shaq Mason.

Here’s how the Patriots could approach the first four rounds of the upcoming draft.

Round 1, No. 21 overall: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama

The Patriots take Alabama's Jameson Williams in the mock NFL Draft
Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams catches a touchdown pass against Southern Miss | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It’s been a long time since the New England Patriots had a star wide receiver. Randy Moss was the latest (2007-2010), but he was in his early 30s at the time. Quarterback Mac Jones is heading into his second NFL season, and the front office cannot afford to leave him without talent at the position.

Jameson Williams is hands-down one of the most talented pass-catchers in the upcoming NFL draft class. The Alabama standout tore his ACL in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, so he could realistically fall to the Patriots at No. 21 overall. If he does, Bill Belichick cannot hesitate to grab him.

Williams enjoyed a monster junior season in Tuscaloosa after transferring from Ohio State. He caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games. He’s a game-breaker of a deep threat, something the Patriots offense desperately lacks. If the team wants Mac Jones to develop as a passer, they must get him a bonafide weapon. Williams undoubtedly fits the bill.

Round 2, No. 54 overall: Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

The Patriots finished the 2021 season with the league’s second-ranked defense. However, their run defense could certainly use some improvement. The unit allowed 123.7 rushing yards per game but just nine touchdowns on the year.

New England’s front seven was a bend-but-down-break group, but adding Wyoming’s Chad Muma could help the defense bend less. According to Pro Football Focus, he received the eighth-best linebacker rating for the 2021 season (90.3). He also posted the second-best run defense of all FBS players at the position. Muma recorded 266 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and three interceptions in 33 games for the Cowboys.

The Patriots parted ways with Kyle Van Noy in the offseason, but they re-signed Ja’Whaun Bentley and added Mack Wilson. Still, New England must address the linebacker position in the 2022 NFL Draft. Muma has ideal size and athleticism for the position and could thrive in Bill Belichick’s defense.

Round 3, No. 85 overall: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

New England cannot afford to neglect its secondary in the NFL draft, especially cornerback. The defense suffered a huge loss in free agency, as Pro Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson signed with the Los Angeles Chargers. He’s one of the top cover corners in the NFL, and Belichick will sorely miss him.

Marcus Jones could be a steal for the Patriots in the third round. They lost playmaking when Jackson left, and Jones could undoubtedly fill that void. The Houston Cougars star recorded 47 tackles, 13 passes defended, and five interceptions as a senior. PFF rated him the ninth-highest cornerback in 2021 (87.8).

The Consensus All-American is also an immensely gifted return man. He recorded two kick return touchdowns and three punt return scores in two seasons with the Cougars. Jones’s dynamic playmaking ability could give the Patriots a massive boost on defense and special teams.

Round 4, No. 125 overall: Zach Tom, OL, Wake Forest

New England is generally solid up front, but the front office needs to add depth to the unit heading into 2022. The Patriots surprisingly shipped starting guard Shaq Mason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason without getting much in return. He’s one of the most reliable interior offensive linemen in the NFL and won’t be easy to replace.

Wake Forest’s Zach Tom is a guy who should be available when the Patriots pick in the fourth round. He played offensive tackle the past two seasons for the Demon Deacons, but he projects more on the interior at the next level. At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Tom is a good athlete for his size.

Tom’s strength is pass protection. Pro Football Focus gave him a pass-blocking grade of 92.1 for the 2021 season. With a young quarterback under center, New England must prioritize protecting its investment. The Wake Forest standout isn’t as dominant in run blocking, so he’ll need to improve in that department to stay on the field for the Patriots.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and College Football Reference

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