This week I interview one of the most dynamic NFL Draft guys I know, Jared Tokarz. He built a following of over 30K on Twitter and interviewed some of the top prospects in each class, including Luke Kuechly when he came out of BC in 2012. Give him a follow on Twitter – @JaredNFLDraft. He’ll be putting out tons of NFL Draft content leading up to the draft in April.
Tell us about yourself and why we should listen to you when it comes to the draft?
Back in 2010, I started the twitter handle @NFLDraftinsider primarily focused on interviewing college prospects heading the to the NFL & my overall thoughts on prospects. It quickly became popular and amassed over 50k followers across all platforms. That led to me being featured on ESPN, Sports illustrated, Fox Sports, Sirius XM radio, and much more. Unfortunately twitter wiped my account and it is now just a hobby for me.
Obviously this year is a much different year for the draft. Especially with clubs not being able to see prospects in person. How will COVID impact this year’s NFL Draft?
It’s going to force teams to “trust the tape” more. Much more time will be spent on game film and honestly that’s the best way to gauge the real talent of a prospect.
What WILL the Patriots do at 15? And what SHOULD the Patriots do at 15? (minus any trades)
I think it’s obvious a lot depends if they sign or trade for a QB before the draft. So I will break it down like this. If Patriots get a formidable QB prior to the draft, such as a Jimmy G, or someone that just isn’t a band-aid, look for them to bring in a potential weapon for them. A Jaylen Waddle from Alabama, if there, would be a dynamic WR threat that Pats haven’t had in a long time.
If the Pats don’t acquire a good option at QB, I would love to see them pick the best QB available there which would most likely be Mac Jones of Alabama. Some people argue that he is a product of the Alabama system and the only reason he succeeded was he had all the talent in the world around him but he showed he was the real deal at the Senior Bowl. Here’s the thing, if Pats truly want a QB they might have to trade up, every year there is a mad rush for QBs and they get over-selected. There might not be a good option for them at 15.
Lastly, the smartest Patriots pick and one that seems to make the most since is the dynamic LB/Edge rusher from Penn State Micah Parsons. He would fill the huge gaping hole that is athleticism on the Patriots front 7.
We know Belichick loves to move around on Draft day but the only 1st round trade scenario that I foresee is them trading down into the late 20’s and acquiring more picks. I don’t see them trading up, do you?
Only way I see that happening is if he falls in love with one one of these QBs, Trey Lance or a Mac Jones. If they are set on one of these guys and have to move up a few spots from 15 I could see that happening even if its out of character for Bill.
Finish my sentence, the biggest need to address in this draft for the Patriots is _________? I’d be surprised if you say anything but QB here…
Let me list it out:
Front 7 speed
A dynamic weapon or 2 (WR/TE) for QB
Bill Belichick wasn’t at the Senior Bowl and took some heat for that on talk radio. Do you think it was a big deal?
No, do I think part of him hates that Brady won without him and now it maybe paints the narrative that it was Brady for all the Pats success and not Bill? Yes.
Give us a late round draft prospect that the Patriots will draft and Patriots fans will fall in love with?
With after the Senior Bowl he had I am not sure this kid will go “late rounds” anymore but I would love the Patriots to end up with Western Michigan WR Dwayne Eskridge. He is a smaller dynamic, big play WR that has a developed route tree. Look up his highlights and you can you see why people love him.
In your mind, a perfect draft for the Patriots will look like what?
My biggest gripe with Belichick’s draft classes is he tries to get too cerebral with his picks and acts like he knows things about players that people don’t and ends up with some misses. My perfect draft is this:
Address the QB situation early. Get a Mac Jones or Trey Lance (whichever is the better fit) and don’t be afraid to give up picks to do so.
Get quicker on defense, add more edge rushers. Speed in the front 7 is crucial in today’s game and needs to be addressed.
Lastly, add more weapons for your QB. Film doesnt lie, Patriots need a possession WR that they thought N’Keal Harry would be and they need a speed/homerun hitter type as well.
General NFL Draft Questions
I know you’re a huge draft guy which by default means you’re a huge college football fan. Give us a few of your biggest sleepers in the 2021 NFL Draft.
WR Dwayne Eskridge – Western Michigan
WR Jaelon Darden – North Texas
RB Jaret Patterson – Buffalo
Me and you both are big BC Football fans, where in the draft do you see TE Hunter Long going and to which team?
He’s the 3rd best TE prospect behind Florida’s Kyle Pitts and local product Pat Freiermuth. He’s got a mid 2nd round grade and my guess is the Seahawks take him with pick 56. With recent Russ Wilson news, they need to keep him happy.
Any other New England/Boston prospects we should be aware of?
Not this year – Keep watching BC WR Zay Flowers though!
Rapid Fire Questions
Best player in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence?
Best QB in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence?
Who will be starting at QB for the Patriots day 1 2021 season?
2021 Offensive & Defensive Rookies of the Year will be?
Kyle Pitts & Micah Parsons