The New England Patriots have a number of options that can improve their team in 2021. New England are sitting with the 15th overall pick in the first round. There has been speculation that they could potentially select a quarterback with their 15th pick.
In every mock draft, the New England Patriots select Florida Gators tight end, Kyle Pitts. One thing that Bill Belichick loves is a tight end that can make a difference in the New England Patriots offense. With that being said, here are five realistic options for the New England Patriots with their 15th pick of the first round.
2021 NFL Draft: Top five positional need options for the New England Patriots with the 15th pick
Top 5 NFL draft positional needs for the Patriots
-- Tight End
-- Wide Receiver
Round 1 (15th pick): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts is a former quarterback and tested out being a tight end at a football camp that was hosted at Temple. Since moving to a tight end, Kyle Pitts has made an immediate impact. The Florida Gators made Pitts a focal point to their offense.
Kyle Pitts burst onto the scene after his freshman year at Florida. His sophomore and junior seasons led him to be the sixth-best overall prospect in the 2021 NFL draft. Let's take a look at Kyle Pitts' sophomore and junior seasons at Florida.
Kyle Pitts Sophomore and Junior year Stats
-- Receptions: 97
-- Receiving yards: 1,419 yards
-- Average yards per reception: 14.9 yards
-- Touchdowns: 17
Round 1 (15th pick): Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU
Terrace Marshall Jr. took over the number one spot at LSU once Ja'Marr Chase opted out of the 2020 season. Marshall Jr. has put together a sophomore and junior season that has landed him as a top-five wide receiver prospect. He played a big role in the LSU Tigers winning the national championship in the 2019-2020 season.
Terrace Marshall Jr. fell into the third wheel role with both Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson playing during 2019. However, he separated himself from the third wheel role in 2020. During the 2020 season, Marshall Jr. went over 100 receiving yards in each game and recorded 10 touchdowns in just seven games.
Terrace Marshall Jr. 2019 and 2020 Stats
-- Receptions: 94
-- Receiving yards: 1,402 yards
-- Average yards per reception: 15 yards
-- Touchdowns: 23
Round 1 (15th pick): Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Zaven Collins could be one of the best defensive players in the 2021 NFL draft that no one knows a lot about. Collins came out of high school receiving only one offer and that was from Tulsa. He turned that into motivation and landed the Bronko Nagurski Award as the best defensive player in college football.
Collins was consistent from the beginning at Tulsa. In the three years that he spent there, he did not record a single bad season. One thing that Bill Belichick wants out of his players is consistency and perfection. Guaging from his time at Tulsa, Zaven Collins proved that he can offer the New England Patriots both.
Zavin Collins College Career Stats
-- Total tackles: 236
-- Tackles for loss: 25
-- Sacks: 7.5
-- Interceptions: 5
-- Touchdowns: 2
Round 1 (15th pick): Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The New England Patriots have not picked this high in the draft for quite a while. Mac Jones has shown that he has the leadership qualities to lead an NFL franchise. Jones is a realistic fit for Bill Belichick's offensive plan and has a lot of the qualities on and off the field that the New England Patriots are looking for in a quarterback.
Jones was patient with Alabama, knowing that he will eventually get his time to start at quarterback. His most impressive season was the 2020 college football season where he led the Crimson Tide to a national championship. Jones set the single-game passing record for a national championship game.
Mac Jones 2020 Stats
-- Completions: 311
-- Attempts: 402
-- Completion Percentage: 77.4%
-- Passing yards: 4,500 yards
-- Touchdowns: 41
-- Interceptions: 4
Round 1 (15th pick): Elijah Molden, CB, Washington
One thing that stands out the most with Elijah Molden is his ability to tackle. He recorded 100 solo tackles in four years at Washington. The New England Patriots can use Molden in their nickel package on defense. Molden shined in coverage while playing slot corner in the nickel package at Washington.
Elijah Molden plays with tremendous instincts at the cornerback position. His instincts are rare because he has the ability to bait quarterbacks into bad throws. The New England Patriots have a veteran quarterback that can help develop Molden. Molden can learn a lot from Gilmore, and with the proper development, he can become an elite corner in the NFL.
Elijah Molden's Career Stats at Washington
-- Total tackles: 153
-- Pass deflections: 19
-- Tackles for loss: 7
-- Interceptions 5