NFL Media draft expert Daniel Jeremiah has plenty of interesting Patriots thoughts, including which QB makes most sense

Ryan Hannable
April 19, 2019 - 10:27 am
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The NFL draft is one week away and there's plenty of intrigue when it comes to the Patriots, as they have 12 overall selections and six in the top 101.

Speaking on a draft conference call Thursday, NFL Media draft expert Daniel Jeremiah had a few interesting Patriots thoughts when it comes to potential tight ends, quarterbacks and more.

Here are some of the highlights.

On Patriots' general approach: "I think with them, looking at them this year, I think getting some more size at the receiver position makes sense. Obviously the tight end position, trying to address that, bring in Austin Seferian-Jenkins, I think that frees them up. If they want to look at some tight ends that not necessarily are the in-line guy, they can find more of that move tight end. Irv Smith is one that comes to mind as somebody that would be a complement to Austin Seferian-Jenkins and have your in-line guy to go along with your move guy."

On T.J. Hockenson, who may go too high for Patriots: "He's not like the Vernon Davis who we saw go really high that just had that rare athleticism. He's not that. I just think when you look at the success of a player like Jason Witten and the career that he's had and the skill set he possesses, I know a lot of people have made the comparison with Gronk. Gronk is a unicorn, as big as he was and as athletic as he was, I don't know that we'll ever see anybody like him. But with Hockenson, I just look and see the way Jason Witten has had his career, and I think he's got a chance to be that exact same guy. Witten is going to be a Hall of Famer. If we had to do that draft over again, he'd go in the top 15, no question. That's who I see him as."

On when Hockenson, Noah Fant might be selected: "When I kind of look at where it starts for them, I think you start talking about them at 7 with the Jags. That would make some sense. This is kind of a spot for him here, 7 to the Jags, 8 to the Lions. I know Ebron did not work out well for them. Obviously he's kind of got things going with the Colts. But I could still see Hockenson fitting them and making some sense with them. 9 to Buffalo and 10 to Denver. I think all those teams at tight end can make some sense there. 12 to Green Bay, potentially landing spot. You can kind of go on through here. I think Minnesota is a sleeper team for a tight end. They've done a lot of homework on tight ends. That would not shock me. There is a boat load of teams that could be in the tight end market.

"In terms of where the floor is, I had Noah Fant going to the Raiders at 24. I don't think he'll get down that far when it's all said and done. I think both those tight ends are gone in the top 20, and if it's not to a team that's there right now, when you look at the Patriots having a need and the Patriots having a lot of draft capital, I would think if either one of the Iowa tight ends started to drop and drift a little bit that that would be one phone call away for the Patriots to go get them."

On Patriots potentially drafting a quarterback: "Yeah, look, it's always a little bit dangerous when you start talking about what next year is going to bring because we never know. But on the surface from what I've seen, I think there's more highend talent, consistent high-end talent. I can't speak to the depth of what next year looks like, and so that's always risky when you're putting all that eggs in that basket and if you don't end up with the top two picks, you don't get a shot at those guys. That's the tricky part about next year and trying to acquire some picks.

"In terms of those guys with the Patriots, I'd have them just like you listed them. [Daniel] Jones to me, I don't think he'll be there. [Ryan] Finley is somebody that -- I was at his pro day, and Nick Caserio was there taking a look at him. He operates the way they like to operate. He's smart. He's efficient. He gets the ball out of his hand quick. I think he fits offensively what Josh McDaniels wants to do and likes to do. I think he'd be a great fit there.

"[Jarrett] Stidham is one of the true wild cards because he spins it as well or better than anybody in this entire draft class. In shorts, he'd be a top-five pick. Unfortunately it hasn't clicked on the field like you'd want to see at Auburn. Some of that is the lack of protection. Some of it is an offensive system that's not great for him. But just throwing the football, he's a great athlete. I think it's going to take a little bit of time to develop him, but I could make a case he makes a lot of sense for the Patriots because they've got a little bit of time, no pun intended, with Tom there. He's not going anywhere right now. That would give you a chance to really develop a guy like this with a potential huge upside. Really as much upside as any quarterback in the draft class. Stidham is very talented. So that might be a risk worth taking."

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