Sports | April 11, 2018 9:58 am

Peter King: Here’s What the Patriots Will Do in the Draft

The "Sports Illustrated" scribe predicts New England will take a left tackle - but not with their top pick.

Bill Belichick
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Considering they’ve made two straight Super Bowls and three out of the last four, you probably wouldn’t think the New England Patriots have a lot of needs in the upcoming draft.

And you’d be wrong.

After losing a number of key players during the offseason (left tackle Nate Solder, wide receiver Danny Amendola, running back Dion Lewis and Super Bowl goat Malcolm Butler) and trading potential franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the deadline, the Patriots may have more holes on their roster than at any point in the past five years.

Luckily, they have guys that know how to fill them in head coach/general manager Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and, thanks to a plethora of past moves, are in good position to do so with the 23rd, 31st, 43rd and 63rd and 95th picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft.

It’s a virtual certainty that the Patriots will draft a left tackle to protect Tom Brady’s blind side, but they might not do it with their first pick. Instead, at No. 23, Peter King expects them to go with cornerback Josh Jackson out of Iowa or linebacker Leighton Vande out of Boise State.

However, after passing on a tackle at No. 23, he does expect them to take one at No. 31 overall.

As for a Brady replacement, King’s not sure who it will be, but he expects Belichick and Caserio to select him at No. 63. In other words, maybe it won’t be Baker Mayfield after all.