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Patriots Mock Draft Roundup: Mac Jones Or Trey Lance In First Round?

BOSTON (CBS) -- We're just over a week away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and with the real draft so close, the mock drafts are flying fast and furious. And given the uncertainty at quarterback for the Patriots, most of the mockers have Bill Belichick addressing the most important position on the field with New England's first selection.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Patriots will be waiting for a quarterback to fall onto their laps at No. 15. A handful of mockers are predicting Belichick and company will make use of their 10 selections and trade up to land the QB of the future, and the general consensus is either Alabama's Mac Jones or North Dakota State's Trey Lance will be on the depth chart along with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham when the Patriots begin training camp.

Here's a quick roundup of whom the mockers have the Patriots picking in the first round, and while it's mostly Jones or Lance, there are a few defensive players and even a trade up for a wide receiver in the mix:

Mel Kiper Jr. & Todd McShay, ESPN

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Mac Jones
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones looks to pass during the National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In this mock draft, New England trades up to No. 7 to draft Jones, sending picks Nos. 15 and 46 -- plus future selections -- to Detroit

I have Jones slightly ahead of Trey Lance, and I think he's more ready to play as a rookie, particularly for a team that made several win-now moves this offseason. Plus, Josh McDaniels has already proved that he can game-plan for a pocket passer with tremendous accuracy.

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Trey Lance
Quarterback Trey Lance of the North Dakota State Bison. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

We don't imagine Lance lasting until 15 -- we suspect a team will trade up for him -- but because we didn't have trades in this 7-rounder, he lands in New England, where he can sit for a year behind Cam Newton.

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

*In this mock draft, New England trades up to No. 10 to draft Jones, sending No. 15 and a package of other picks to Dallas

Bill Belichick makes somewhat of an aggressive move to climb five spots to take the Alabama quarterback. New England trades its third-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a future sixth-rounder to swing this deal.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

*In this mock draft, New England trades up to No. 7 to draft Jones, sending picks Nos. 15 and 46 and a 2022 fourth-round pick to Detroit

New England does not believe it is far away from competing this season and a reliable quarterback might be the difference in contention and another disappointing season. Jones is the fifth and final quarterback among those expected to be taken in the first round.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

Some see him going in the third spot, but in this mock his fall would end here. The Patriots will draft a guy to step in and take over for Cam Newton a year from now.

Pete Schrager, NFL Network

Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Devonta Smith
Devonta Smith (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

In this mock draft, New England trades up to No. 12 to draft Smith, sending picks Nos. 15 and 46 to Philadelphia

Everyone seems to think Philadelphia is looking to trade up into the top 10, but I believe the Eagles are a prime team to trade down, looking to squeeze out another first-round pick for next year -- giving them potentially four in 2022 -- or an additional second-rounder in 2021. New England gives up its second-round pick (No. 46) to move up three spots for the Heisman-winning, Nick Saban-endorsed star WR1.

Charles Davis, NFL Network

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

With Cam Newton signed to another one-year deal, his doppelgänger, in many ways, gets to learn behind him for a season. I see a lot of Josh Allen in Lance's game.

Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus

Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

New England is primed to move up for a quarterback on draft night, but the more I let this draft play out, the more comfortable I am with Lance in the middle of the first. He's a dynamic runner who's flashed the arm to hit every throw, but his accuracy is a notch below the other four first-round prospects. It's a good play for New England, who have Cam Newton for one year, and they can take their time with Lance or throw him right into the mix when he's ready.

Lance did his best work as a redshirt freshman in 2019 when he graded at 90.7 overall, but there's some risk with a quarterback who has only 371 career dropbacks.

Luke Easterling, USA Today

Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State

micah parsons
Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Without a quarterback worthy of consideration, the Pats revert back to the strategy of taking whatever top talent falls to them that should have been off the board earlier. In this scenario, that's Parsons, who has top-10 talent but also some off-field concerns. He could end up being a huge steal this late in the first round, helping to give the Patriots some much needed youth and athleticism at the second level of the defense.

Zaven Collins, DE/OLB, Tulsa

Zaven Collins
Zaven Collins (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

With the top five quarterbacks off the board, the Patriots should wait until Day 2 to find a new signal-caller and obtain help on their defensive line in the meantime.

Zaven Collins seems built for the Patriots. He's extremely versatile - he can rush on the edge or play linebacker in the middle of the field - and could be viewed as a better version of Kyle Van Noy.

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