The Patriots got their quarterback of the future Thursday.
Mac Jones, taken with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, is coming to Foxboro.
Now that the Pats addressed that area of need, they’re going to have to use the rest of the draft to build around him beyond what they did in free agency in March.
We know the Patriots definitely have needs at wide receiver, cornerback and linebacker. They can start to fill those holes with their second- and third-round picks Friday, which sit at No. 46 and 96.
Here’s a look at some top prospects they could consider, along with a thumbnail on each player from the NFL Draft Bible:
Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri, 5-11, 232
Imagine Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan with more thump. Bolton is a super physical WILL linebacker who is surprisingly physical for a man his size and length. He fills like a tank, meeting offensive linemen at the point of attack, stacking and shedding with a high success rate. When he’s able to square up ball-carriers, Bolton is a vicious hitter, putting together a highlight reel of massive shots.
Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia, 6-1, 185
The Florida native is the type of height/weight/speed specimen who has future starting cornerback written all over him. Campbell is very patient at the line of scrimmage, possessing the hip flexibility and smooth transitions to turn and run with the best. There are flashes of athletic upside on film that can’t be taught. With further attention to detail and development, Campbell could finish as one of the most productive cornerbacks in the 2021 draft.
Shakur Brown, CB, Michigan State, 5-10, 190
He is an intelligent player who plays with reliable instincts in coverage. Brown can cover receivers in zone and man well, but he is best when he is in man coverage. He has a great knack for high pointing the football and making a play on the ball. Brown can drive through contact and lay punishing hits on the receivers.
Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State, 6-3, 241
An explosive athlete for the position, Browning is just starting to tap into his potential. … Browning explodes downhill in a hurry from his trigger step, shooting gaps in a flash without much ability to stall his momentum. He has been blessed with a dynamite frame to stack and shed effectively at the point of attack.
Elijah Molden, CB, Washington, 5-10, 190
The premier nickel prospect in this draft class, Molden … is the prototypical versatile nickel that the NFL game has turned into a critical piece to a successful defense. Wins with elite football acumen in all phases of the game, displaying a natural feel for how offenses are trying to attack in the run game and the passing game. Elite ball skills to take the football away, showing poise when the ball is in the air to intercept it and the physicality to force fumbles when taking on ball-carriers.
Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss, 5-9, 185
Moore’s success on the field can, in part, be attributed to his remarkable change of direction ability, fluidity and flexibility. He also has an impressive burst and more than enough speed. Moore complements his movement skills with jab steps, head fakes, and body language up the route stem to force defensive backs into false steps. He then has the athleticism to capitalize on those mistakes.
Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue, 5-9, 180
Moore is an explosive, fast, elusive, powerful runner who compensates with speed what he lacks for in size … is the ultimate game-changer as a receiver, runner and return man. The agility to cut on a dime and change direction, combined with his powerful running style, allows Moore to make a mockery of would-be tacklers.
Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson, 5-9, 210
Rodgers has a low center of gravity, aiding his contact balance and making him a tough task to tackle. He has quick feet to make cuts, plus a mean stiff-arm, the ability to hurdle low-tackling defenders and playmaking ability after the catch. Rodgers became a better route-runner as his confidence grew in 2020.
Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State, 5-10, 194
With elite short-area quickness, Samuel is able to click and close with the best. He can line up in multiple spots on the outside and inside. Samuel also possesses an adequate amount of long speed to stay in phase while working vertically. Unlike his father, Jr. is a willing run defender who shows solid effort in that area.
Pete Werner, LB, Ohio State, 6-2, 242
Werner possesses the type of all-around skill set that could offer him the opportunity to occupy a variety of roles in an NFL defense. Playing SAM ‘backer for the Buckeyes as a junior, Werner was pressed with a lot of responsibilities in pass coverage. He was often tasked with playing overhang and out on slot receivers, seeing both man and zone reps. There is also a clear transition for Werner as a tight-end eraser on the next level with his ability to match up appropriately with his combination of size and athleticism.