As we count down to the 2019 NFL draft, we’ll take the measure of the Patriots by position and offer up six prospects at each spot — two likely to go early (first round), two middle (second day) and two late (third day). We've broken down the edge defenders, quarterbacks, tight ends and running backs. Now, let's take a look at the position that needs the most help — now and in the future — and has been a consistent bugaboo for the Patriots.
Everybody knows the deal here. What the Patriots have at the position is either aging (JulianEdelman), coming back from injury (DemaryiusThomas, BraxtonBerrios, BruceEllington), hasn't flashed yet (PhillipDorsett, MauriceHarris, Damoun Patterson) or currently suspended by the NFL (JoshGordon). So, yeah, they could use some impactful youth ... like every year, it seems.
POSSIBLE EARLY TARGETS
A.J. Brown, Ole Miss (6-0½, 226, 4.51) Patriots scheme fit: Boundary with slot versatility. Possible Flex.
Could be the first – and only — receiver taken in the first round because of his low bust rate. Not a blazer and had issues in college against man coverage on the outside, but his strength and hands look like they make him an ideal boundary guy for the Patriots. Very similar to MalcolmMitchell, but with bigger upside due to ability after the catch and quick feet. Stood out in the slot as a size mismatch in the vein of AnquanBoldin or LarryFitzgerald. ProFootballFocus.com had him for just five drops on 90 catchable targets. Could be a flex WR/TE combo if the Patriots don't have that move tight end. Bright (Wonderlic: 18). Loves football.
POSSIBLE MIDDLE TARGETS
Deebo Samuel, South Carolina (5-11, 214, 4.44) Patriots scheme fit: