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2020 NFL mock draft: New England Patriots select LB Kenneth Murray

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New England starts the “rebuild.”

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots had one of the quietest offseasons of any team in the NFL. Absolutely nothing happened and the team will look exactly the same as it has in previous years.

So now that they are on the clock in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, it is up to commenter Kudos to simply keep the boat pointed forward. No need to change strategy. Just keep with the same formula that has been working for the past two decades and cash in the rings.

So with the 23rd pick in the POD Community Mock, the New England Patriots have selected Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray. Here’s Kudos with the explanation:

“For the first time since George W. Bush’s first term, the Patriots will be entering the season with someone not named Tom Brady as their starting quarterback. While Brady’s decision to leave New England dominated the headlines, the Patriots lost some key defensive pieces as well. I decided to address the position impacted most by these departures by taking the former Oklahoma standout.

Murray was a productive three-year starter at linebacker for the Sooners, totaling over 300 tackles during his career. He was named co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 and earned All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore and junior. He participated at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where he posted impressive numbers across the board.

Murray’s athleticism is apparent when watching him on film. He covers ground quickly against the run and makes an impact when he reaches the ball carrier. He’s also able to cover running backs and tight ends, as well as rush off the edge on occasion.

After losing Jamie Collins Sr., Kyle Van Noy, and Elandon Roberts to free agency, New England’s linebacking corps could use some help. Their defense is dependent on their linebackers making plays, and a player with Murray’s athleticism would be a welcome addition. Murray projects as an off-ball linebacker in the Patriots defense and would challenge Ja’Whaun Bentley for a starting position next to Dont’a Hightower from day one. Also, his versatility would give Bill Belichick a nice piece to move around the defense.

Although Jordan Love has been a popular pick for the Patriots in mock drafts, word out of Foxborough seems to indicate that they are high on Jarrett Stidham. New England won with a dominant defense last season, and adding Murray will help that continue in 2020.

Catch up with all the picks from our POD Community Mock here.

Poll

Grade the Patriots’ pick

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    A
    (111 votes)
  • 32%
    B
    (71 votes)
  • 9%
    C
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    D
    (7 votes)
  • 4%
    F
    (10 votes)
220 votes total Vote Now