After losing Nate Solder, the Notre Dame tackle is the player New England needs.
In a bold move earlier this month, the New England Patriots shipped Brandin Cooks off to the Los Angeles Rams instead of giving the young wide receiver a new contract. The return of the injured Julian Edelman made the move low risk while the Patriots got a first-round pick back in return.
Two first-round choices gives New England a lot of options in the draft. After losing starting offensive tackles Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming in free agency, the offensive line needs some work. Cornerback Malcolm Butler is gone to Tennessee, so a cornerback makes a lot of sense too. Then, in addition to shipping off Cooks, receiver Danny Amendola signed with the Miami Dolphins. At the least, a depth piece could be added to the receiver group.
That all means Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit has options with his first pick in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft.
23. New England Patriots: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Hill: The Patriots lost franchise left tackle Nate Solder in free agency, so it makes perfect sense for the team to draft the best offensive tackle prospect to be his replacement. McGlinchey isn’t a perfect tackle, but that perception is driven by him being under the microscope after returning to school despite being considered a first-round prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s a day one starter at left tackle and should be flourish under Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Now there are plenty of other potential prospects still on the board who fit the Patriots’ needs and McGlinchey is the first tackle selected. Bill Belichick might typically trade down with this sort of value — but I’m taking no chances and securing a franchise left tackle to protect Tom Brady’s blind side for the remainder of his career.
Analysis: Few draft prospects were saddled more with expectation this season than McGlinchey. Any mistake he made was quickly criticized. When he played well, people said it was star guard Quenton Nelson making it easier for McGlinchey. The big issue about McGlinchey going forward is if he’s suited for the left side in the NFL. He has experience on both sides of the line, and some think he’s better as a right tackle. However, McGlinchey is the type of player New England needs, and he should be an instant starter for them.
Dan Kadar’s top five players remaining
- 20. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
- 21. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
- 22. Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
- 23. Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
- 24. Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
For the first time in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft we went a day without any of the three picks coming out of my top five players available. Does that say more about today’s choices or my rankings? Could it happen again tomorrow? Find out starting at 9 a.m. ET when Bradley Smith of Cat Scratch Reader goes on the clock for the Carolina Panthers.