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ESPN’s Todd McShay has Patriots pick a tight end in his new mock draft

The NFL scouting merge is more than, and one of the items that can be taken away from the 7 days-lengthy party is the high quality and depth of the tight end course. Led by Iowa standouts T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, the posture group projects to be one of the deepest and most proficient in new memory — one that could see as quite a few as three of its members get drafted in the 1st round at the very least that’s what ESPN’s Todd McShay thinks.

McShay unveiled his latest mock draft before currently and three tight finishes go in the 1st 32 choices: the aforementioned Hockenson and Fant be a part of the Green Bay Packers (#12) and Los Angeles Rams (#31), respectively, whilst a 3rd tight end will get picked by the New England Patriots:

Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

I definitely needed to go defensive line below with Trey Bouquets, Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton all entering cost-free company, but there was just no benefit. As a substitute, the Alabama tight end would give the Pats an alternative to an growing old Rob Gronkowski. But I’d wager that Invoice Belichick trades out of the place to stockpile added picks.

As McShay notes, the Patriots will have numerous options at the end of the 1st round — from bolstering their defensive line to investing out of the pick for added choices. In this scenario, having said that, the team chooses to make investments in Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr, who would provide a complement as very well as a likely heir to Rob Gronkowski as New England’s prime tight end.

An all-close to tight end that has been effective as each a blocker and a pass catcher — in 2018, Smith Jr. registered 44 catches for 710 yards and seven touchdowns — in faculty, the junior could be a day-one impression participant at the subsequent stage. “His athleticism, clean routes and strong blocking skills really should translate quickly into a multipurpose starting off tight end,” writes The Draft Network’s Jon Ledyard about the 6’2, 240 lbs tight end.

“While Smith could absence elite explosiveness, he even now has the speed to win vertically as a flexed receiver whilst currently being one of the ideal blocking tight finishes in the draft,” he ongoing. Without a doubt, he would examine quite a few of the boxes New England desires its tight finishes to examine — from his route running to his blocking. And whilst he could absence the elite athletic upside of a participant like Fant or Hockenson, Smith Jr. would be a good addition to the Patriots’ offense not only due to the fact of his connection to Invoice Belichick protégé Nick Saban.

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