Report: Patriots hosting talented OT prospect, CB for top-30 visits


What needs might the New England Patriots address in the 2022 NFL Draft? Their activity Monday should provide a clue.

The Patriots are set to host Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning and Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones for top-30 visits Monday, The Draft Network's Ryan Fowler and Pro Football Focus' Doug Kyed report.

NFL teams are allowed to host up to 30 prospects at their facilities prior to the NFL Draft. As of Monday, the Patriots have hosted or are set to host five prospects for top-30 visits, per multiple reports -- Penning, Jones, Miami quarterback D'Eriq King, Houston cornerback Marcus Jones and Stephen F. Austin defensive lineman Rayshad Nichols.

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Penning is one of the best offensive tackles in this year's draft class, boasting impressive athleticism (4.89-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine) for his 6-foot-7, 325-pound frame. Our Phil Perry recently tabbed Penning as a "Prototypical Patriot" at offensive tackle.

"Penning is a rare mover. He also has enough size (34-inch arms) to be molded into a rough-and-tumble starter quickly," Perry wrote. "Penning's demeanor, athleticism and length are plenty for the Patriots to work with, and he may be there for them at No. 21 overall if they're interested."

Perry's Prototypical Patriots: Offensive tackle | Interior lineman | Wide receiver

While New England has two starting-caliber tackles in Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown, both are injury-prone, so the team could look for depth in the draft. The Patriots also are thin at offensive guard and have selected an offensive lineman in 17 of 22 drafts under Bill Belichick, so it's very possible they continue that trend later this month, either at guard or tackle.

Cornerback also is an area of need for Belichick's club, which lost No. 1 corner J.C. Jackson to free agency this offseason. Jack Jones is expected to be a late-round pick and is undersized at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but he had a strong 2021 season for the Sun Devils with three interceptions, three forced fumbles and six passes deflected.

The Patriots have two picks in the top 55 (No. 21 and No. 54), and both cornerback and offensive line are positions to watch with those selections.

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