Arnon Dror | Sizing Up The Patriots’ Potential 2019 Draft Picks
While the Patriots are not expected to pick high in this year’s NFL Draft, Arnon Dror expects the organization to use up all of its picks – all 12 of them. The Patriots were originally supposed to pick 32nd (first round), 64th (second round), 134th (fourth round), and 246th (seventh round) overall, trades and compensatory selections for the loss of four free agents last season bumped up the team’s total number of 2019 draft picks to 12. Even more impressive for Arnon Dror is the fact that two of the compensatory picks are at #97 and #101, which means that New England has six picks in the first three rounds.
Most mock drafts that took place in February projected the Patriots to go for offense right away, with quarterback Daniel Jones out of Duke being a common selection at #32. Arnon Dror was able to see Jones in action against Temple at the Independence Bowl, and he walked away impressed – Jones threw 30 of 41 for 423 yards and five touchdowns. While Jones did throw two interceptions against a pretty average Temple defense, his vision and footwork were more advanced than most quarterbacks in his draft class. Arnon Dror thinks Jones could only benefit from being mentored by Tom Brady. While there are rumors that Jones is meeting with Cincinnati, the Patriots should not hesitate about drafting him if he’s still on the board. Image Source: 247Sports.com
Another name to watch out for is Andy Isabella out of UMass. Arnon Dror was blown away by Isabella’s speed. He led the country with 141.5 receiving yards per game and his 40-yard dash time of 4.31 was tied for first among wide receivers in the NFL combine. It looks like Isabella has done his homework for the NFL, putting on muscle to cope with the intense physical pressures of the league. However, his 40-yard time of 4.31 is still higher than his personal record of 4.26. As soon as he grows into his body, his speed should still improve. Isabella has been training with Randy Moss to prepare for the draft, and that investment should pay dividends in the future.
The Patriots have also been linked to tight end prospect T.J. Hockenson out of Iowa. With Rob Gronkowski hinting at announcing his retirement in the coming weeks, the Patriots need reinforcements at the position should Gronknowski call it a career. While Hockenson isn’t as big as Gronk (Hockenson weighs 230 pounds, Gronkowski tips the scales at 270), Arnon Dror believes that Hockenson possesses the same temperament that Gronk brings to the Patriots. In addition, Hockenson has a really good pair of hands that lets him receive everything thrown his way.
In case Hockenson is drafted early, Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. might be another good prospect. Arnon Dror remembers Irv Smith Sr. from his playing years with Notre Dame, and while the younger Smith does not have his father’s height and size, he does have a bit more foot speed and agility than his dad. In addition, Smith Jr. comes from a champion program, winning the CFP in 2017 under Nick Saban.