The Patriots didn’t endure much of a lull in the post-Tom Brady era. They missed the playoffs in 2020 but managed to make it back with Mac Jones in 2021.
Of course, they still weren’t able to win a playoff game. The Bills schooled them in the wild-card round of the postseason, winning 47-17 in a contest that was never particularly close. Patriots owner Robert Kraft isn’t happy that the team hasn’t won a playoff game over the last three years, so the 2022 NFL season will be a big one for the Patriots.
New England wasn’t very active in free agency during the 2022 offseason. The team lost a handful of players, including JC Jackson, while adding a few free agents on short-term, cheap deals. They also traded for DeVante Parker and Mack Wilson, which should help them at receiver and linebacker respectively.
Still, if the Patriots want to take a step forward in the loaded AFC, they will have to nail the NFL draft just like they did in 2021. If they can find another Jones/Christian Barmore-type combination, that will go a long way toward improving this team.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ picks in the 2022 NFL Draft:
Patriots draft picks 2022: Who did New England take?
- Round 1, Pick No. 21: —
- Round 2, Pick No. 54: —
- Round 3, Pick No. 85: —
- Round 4, Pick No. 127: —
- Round 5, Pick No. 170: —
- Round 6, Pick No. 200: —
- Round 6, Pick No. 210: —
Patriots 2022 NFL Draft order
|5||170 (from TB)|
|6||210 (from LAR)|
Patriots NFL Draft needs
- Cornerback: The Patriots let JC Jackson walk during free agency, and they have questions about their No. 1 cornerback as a result. The team added Malcolm Butler and Terrance Mitchell to join what looks like a room with good depth, but they still need a true shutdown option on the outside.
- Linebacker: Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower are gone. So is Jamie Collins. The Patriots have some quality role players at linebacker, but they need a true three-down playmaker at the position. Utah’s Devin Lloyd should interest them if he’s available in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Defensive end: Matt Judon proved to be a massive upgrade for the Patriots on the edge. However, they still aren’t very strong across from him. Maybe Josh Uche or Ronnie Perkins will break out, but adding more pass rush depth would be a smart move.
- Guard: The Patriots lost both of their starting guards from 2021 during the offseason, as Ted Karras signed with the Bengals while Shaq Mason was traded to the Buccaneers. Mike Onwenu will take over at one of the vacated spots, but New England needs a potential starter at the other position. They have had success finding steals like Mason and Onwenu late in the draft before.
- Wide receiver: The Patriots’ need at receiver isn’t as glaring after they traded for DeVante Parker, but they should still have an interest in adding another potential-packed pass catcher with the N’Keal Harry pick looking like a failure. There are plenty of talented mid-round receivers that New England can target.
Patriots mock draft 2022
Here are the latest 2022 NFL Draft projections for the Patriots, according to Vinnie Iyer’s seven-round mock draft:
|4||127||Joshua Williams||CB||Fayetteville State|
|6||210||Amari Barno||EDGE||Virginia Tech|