Patriots Projected to Add ‘Master of His Craft’ WR in NFL Draft

Getty Chris Olave

The wide receiver position has been a problem for the New England Patriots during the Bill Belichick era. It’s one of the few areas the legendary head coach and general manager hasn’t had success filling consistently.

We all know N’Keal Harry hasn’t turned into the kind of player the Patriots expected. Well, according to The Athletic’s NFL Draft expert Dane Brugler, that won’t prevent the Patriots from looking at WR again in the first round of the 2022 draft.

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Brugler projects the Patriots will draft Ohio State star Chris Olave. Brugler wrote:

Wide receiver isn’t a glaring need for the Patriots, especially considering Bill Belichick has only drafted one wide receiver in the first round since he became New England’s head coach in 2000. But Olave is the type of prospect who can change plans if he is available. A smooth athlete, Olave is already on an NFL level with his route transitions and catch-point skills.

The Patriots have some players who seemingly have similar skill sets, but Olave could be one of those elite route-runners with the rare ability to get in and out of his breaks without breakaway speed. One draft prognosticator has an even higher opinion of Olave than Brugler.

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One Prognosticator Has Olave Going No. 2

Pro Football Network’s Cam Mellor projects Olave will be drafted No. 2 overall to the Houston Texans. In fact, Mellor called Olave a “master of his craft.” Here is his breakdown:

The Houston Texans will need a large influx of talent this offseason. They start that off by selecting Ohio State WR Chris Olave. A master of his craft, Olave does everything at near-elite levels as a wide receiver. From body control to catch-point skills and sharp routes to amazing footwork, Olave is the complete package. He may not have dominated in 2021 from a pure statistical standpoint, but put on the tape. The talent is there in spades.

If Olave is still on the board when the Patriots pick, which figures to be later in the first round, he might have the kind of talent that New England cannot pass up. However, in looking at the Patriots’ track record in the first round, it seems more like a player they would pass on.

Patriots’ No. 1 Draft Need

The Patriots’ top need is at cornerback. With the departure of Stephon Gilmore and impending free agency of J.C. Jackson New England has a good amount of uncertainty at the position now and in the future.

They would likely love to get an opportunity to move up to draft a player like LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr., but he could be off the board in the first five picks. Based on the way the Patriots are playing, the chances of them having a pick anywhere close to the Top 10 seems far-fetched.

Belichick and Co. will have to make due with whatever draft spot they wind up with in April. Somehow, they always seem to get something they need.