New England Patriots 2022 Draft
The 2021 New England Patriots’ 2021 season surely left fans with mixed emotions. There was the positive of running off seven straight wins after starting 2-4, challenging the juggernaut Buffalo Bills for the AFC East title. The negative came when the Pats ran out of gas down the stretch. They lost three of their last four games.
New England then was slapped silly by Buffalo 47-17 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The Patriots will need to find a way to solidify their defense, at the same time trying to add some offensive weapons in support of second-year quarterback Mac Jones. New England has more than $11 million in cap space available as of this writing.
The Patriots will head into Year Three post-Tom Brady, rebounding quickly after a losing 2020 season. This will be a key season to see if New England climbs back into the AFC title picture or slides back into mediocrity.
Players Leaving the New England Patriots
New England started clearing cap space by cutting ties with several veterans. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy was a two-time champion during his five seasons with the Patriots. Letting go of the 30-year-old Van Noy cleared $4 million in cap space in New England. Van Noy was a productive player during his time with the Patriots, recording 21½ sacks, grabbing three interceptions and recording 287 tackles.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower is 31 and only recorded 1½ sacks last season. Hightower, a Patriot since 2012, is a three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler. He was still a productive player overall last season but may be difficult to retain unless he agrees to work for less money.
Cornerback J.C. Jackson left for the greener pastures of the Los Angeles Chargers, signing a five-year contract. He’s coming off a season where he intercepted nine passes. In his four seasons with New England, Jackson had 25 interceptions.
Positions Needed by the New England Patriots
New England will likely need a lot of help at linebacker. The Patriots have three linebackers who will be free agents — Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Ja’Whaun Bentley — and have already released Van Noy. Matt Judon led the Patriots with 12½ sacks last season, but New England needs more depth in the pass rush. New England only recorded 36 sacks, with Van Noy’s five second on the team.
The Patriots are in search of a No. 1 receiver, whether that comes via free agency or in the draft. New England will likely see the return of all four of its top receivers from last season. Jakobi Meyers, who is a restricted free agent and had a second-round tender placed on him, led New England with 866 yards on 83 catches last season. Kendrick Bourne was second on the team with 800 yards on 55 catches.
Jackson’s exit means New England will need more depth at cornerback. The Patriots will return Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones, but don’t have much behind them.
New England could also likely use help at the offensive line. Free agent Trent Brown has agreed to return while Ted Karras is off to the Cincinnati Bengals.
New England Patriots Mock draft
New England isn’t going to have a whole lot to do during the 2022 draft. The Patriots only have six selections after various trades over the past seasons. With the 21st selection, Nakobe Dean might be the move. He had a strong junior season with Georgia at linebacker..
Dean collected 72 tackles, including 36 solo stops, to help the Bulldogs win the national championship. Dean also intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recorded six sacks. In the second round, New England may be able to add a former teammate of Dean. Defensive back Derion Kendrick started at Clemson before transferring to Georgia.
With the Bulldogs, Kendrick picked off four passes. He was consistent, defending five passes as a sophomore and six as a junior
New England could look at Western Michigan receiver Skyy Moore in the middle rounds. Moore, who hauled in 95 passes for 1,292 receiving yards (10 touchdowns) as a redshirt sophomore, had a knack for making big plays.
Boston College center Alec Lindstrom is a 6-foot-3, 298 pounder. Lindstrom is a durable player, earning All-ACC honors. Lindstrom also has some pedigree as his dad, Chris Lindstrom, spent three years in the NFL. His brother, Chris Lindstrom Jr., currently plays for the Atlanta Falcons and was a first-round pick. Check Patriots’ NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.
2022 NFL Draft Event Information
- Date: Thursday, April 28 (Round 1) | Friday, April 29 (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, April 30 (Rounds 4-7)
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
- Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
- TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
- NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass
2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- NY Jets
- NY Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- NY Giants (via Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
- NY Jets (via Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (via Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
- LA Chargers
- New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (via Rams)
Teams with no First Round Pick
- San Francisco 49ers
- Chicago Bears
- Denver Broncos
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Los Angeles Rams
- Miami Dolphins