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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots pass on Mac Jones for elite defensive end – NBC Sports Boston


Quarterbacks, quarterbacks, quarterbacks. They dominate our offseason conversations. They’ll dictate how the draft falls in April. But with the number of passers who figure to go in the top half of the first round — could be as many as five — there should be a domino effect impacting the teams for whom those five will be out of reach.

With quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive tackles potentially coming off the board early and in rapid-fire fashion, some of the best players at other positions, particularly on defense, could slide.

Will any of those non-quarterback standouts be anywhere near as valuable as a very good quarterback? No. But they’re valuable nonetheless, and consolation prizes for those teams that may have to wait a little while longer before finding The Next Guy in the draft.

In our latest mock draft, the Patriots land one of the freakiest non-quarterbacks in the class, the type of athlete who — in another year, when there aren’t so many quarterbacks — might not be available at No. 15.

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