Jackson 5 – 5 potential draft picks for the Pats

By Aaron Jackson,

With a week left to go before the NFL draft begins there’s some excitement in the air for Patriots’ fans. Expectations are high that New England will address a number of deficiencies via their numerous picks. Here’s my prediction for what Bill Belichick will do with his first five selections.

  1. #23 overall – Kolton Miller or Mike McGlinchey, OT: Miller is the favorite by most draft experts. The UCLA tackle is likely to be available at this spot, and fits a clear need. The caveat on this is that if Mike McGlinchey out of Notre Dame is available he may be the choice. Most say he won’t make it that far though.

  2. #31 overall – Mike Hughes, CB: The other big need for them is to replace Malcolm Butler, which won’t be easy. Hughes is very similar in terms of build, and certainly has incredible potential, hence his first round value. Belichick’s ability to find guys like Butler in the late rounds has been hit or miss, as to be expected, so it makes sense this time around to take someone with a pedigree. Plus, UCF was undefeated last season, and we all know Belichick likes winners.

  3. #43 overall – Dallas Goedert (SD State) or Mike Gesicki (Penn State), TE: I put these two here for two reasons. One – we still don’t know exactly what is going on with Rob Gronkowski, and at this point even if he comes back I wouldn’t be entirely shocked to see him dealt elsewhere. Typically once a player toys with Belichick things don’t end well, plus Gronk is getting up there in football years, and we know what happens once players get past their prime in New England. Two – even if Gronk stays (which I still believe is the most likely scenario) Belichick has always loved having a two tight end lineup. They really haven’t found a potent 1-2 since the Aaron Hernandez days, but both of these tight ends could be the real deal.

  4. #63 overall – Kyle Lauletta, QB: To be honest I’m not 100% sure that New England takes a quarterback this high. I honestly think there’s something to the reports we saw a few months ago that said Belichick  was sick of grooming potential replacements for Brady, and really, who can blame him? That said, this seems like a good spot for them to go QB, and Lauletta is a lacrosse nut, which we all know is Belichick’s soft spot. Lauletta threw for over 10-thousand yards and 73 touchdowns in his time with Richmond, and is known as a quick strike, rhythm quarterback. Sound familiar? He seems like the right fit.

  5. #95 overall – Jerome Baker, LB: Don’t be surprised if you see these two flip flopped come draft day. 63 actually seems a little high for Lauletta, while 95 is likely a little low for Baker. It will likely all depend on what other teams are doing, and for right now I think the quarterback market will be a hotter one than the linebacker market early on. Baker is an Ohio State product, and fills a need. New England has a decent amount of linebackers, but none that are consistently top notch guys outside of Donta Hightower, who always has injury issues. Baker is fast to the ball, and will provide some much needed depth and athleticism to their core.

    Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.