The New England Patriots are suited for the 2023 NFL Draft with 11 draft picks across seven rounds. Bill Belichick, the team’s general manager and head coach, has some tools as he attempts to strengthen the roster following a disappointing 2022 campaign. Let’s dive into the Patriots future draft pick status.
Looking at the Patriots Draft Choice Positions
Embed from Getty Images
In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Patriots have the 14th overall pick. In addition, they hold two draught picks: a third-round option (76), obtained in a trade with the Carolina Panthers, and second-round picks (46).
They have three picks in the fourth round: 107, which they got from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for running back Sony Michel; 117; and 135, which they got as compensation.
On Day 3 of the draft, the Patriots have seven picks across rounds 4, 6, and 7. They do not have a fifth-round selection but can acquire one by moving around their preferences during the draft.
Overall, the Patriots have five picks that were acquired through trades. They traded away their original third-round pick to the Miami Dolphins for wide receiver DeVante Parker but later received a third-round pick from the Panthers in a draft-day trade. They also traded away their fifth-round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for cornerback Shaun Wade and their original seventh-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders in a package deal that included quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
The Patriots’ busiest draft round will be in Round 6, where they have four picks. The Panthers provided one of these selections in exchange for CB Stephon Gilmore, the Raiders provided another in the Stidham deal, and the remaining two were obtained through the compensatory pick mechanism.
In a transaction that sent tight end Jonnu Smith to the Atlanta Falcons, who gave them a choice they obtained in a trade sending linebacker Dean Marlowe to the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots also gained a seventh-round pick.
The Patriots Roster Needs
Embed from Getty Images
The New England Patriots require a wide receiver before the NFL Draft, despite signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and releasing Jakobi Meyers. The team currently only has Smith-Schuster and Tyquan Thornton under contract beyond the upcoming season, and they need a long-term solution at the position.
In the short term, the Patriots have some options, with Smith-Schuster as a slot receiver, Thornton as a vertical threat, Bourne as a dynamic playmaker, and Parker as a reliable contested-catch receiver. Additionally, they have Henry and Gesicki as tight ends and Stevenson as a running back to bolster their passing game.
However, the group’s success depends on several factors, including Smith-Schuster’s familiarity with the playbook, Thornton’s progression, Bourne’s resurgence, and Mac Jones’s performance as the quarterback. Having a traditional No. 1 receiver would improve the offence immediately, provide Jones with a top-tier target, and make it easier to evaluate his potential.
While the Patriots have their eyes on elite trade targets, they may have to turn to the draft to find a solution. Four first-round prospects, Jordan Addison, Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Zay Flowers (Boston College), are expected to be available.
As Massachusetts Sportsbooks are up and running, fans of the New England Patriots can also place bets on the team’s future draft picks. It will be exciting to see how the odds and betting lines for the Patriots’ draft selections shift leading up to the draft as analysts and insiders begin to release more information.
The New England Patriots offensive tackles are in a similar position to their receivers in that they might be able to get by with their present bunch in 2023, but they will need to get better moving forward.
Embed from Getty Images
With Isaiah Wynn, their first-round choice from 2018, falling short of expectations, the Patriots signed Riley Reiff, 34, to a $5 million, one-year deal. Reiff has plenty of experience in the NFL and could potentially play opposite Trent Brown. It is unclear whether Brown will return to his position at correct tackle, as he switched with Wynn last season. Belichick did not reveal Reiff’s potential role, but he has primarily played on the left side.
Brown and Reiff will become unrestricted free agents after this season, so the Patriots would be wise to draft at least one starting-quality tackle. They have some options available at pick No. 14, including Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State), Peter Skoronski (Northwestern), and Broderick Jones (Georgia).
The Patriots also added Conor McDermott, Yodny Cajuste, and Calvin Anderson to their roster this offseason, but all three are backup options. McDermott and Anderson are in contract through 2024, while Cajuste has a one-year tendered deal.
The Patriots should also consider drafting a tight end this year to plan for the future. Mike Gesicki and Hunter Henry, who signed one-year deals in free agency, will become free agents after the upcoming season. This situation leaves only Matt Sokol on the practice squad as the tight end under contract for 2024.
The current draft has a deep pool of tight ends, with more than ten players expected in the first three rounds up for selection. While the Patriots would be better off choosing a receiver or offensive tackle with their No. 14 pick, it wouldn’t be surprising if they chose a tight end on Day 2.
Devin McCourty’s retirement has created a significant gap in the secondary. Despite the impressive performance of the defensive unit in the previous season, replacing McCourty’s multifaceted role would be challenging. Bill Belichick has compared McCourty to an on-field coach due to his significant involvement with calls and substitutions before the snap.
Kyler Dugger, Adrian Phillips, Jabrill Peppers, and cornerback Jalen Mills, who has prior experience as a safety, will all contribute to filling the void left by McCourty.
There is only one highly probable first-round safety, Brian Branch (Alabama), so it would be reasonable for the Patriots to wait until Day 2 or early Day 3 to select a safety, considering their other areas of need.
With 11 picks in the upcoming draft, the Patriots have ample opportunities to bolster their team and add talent to their roster. Belichick and his team must make strategic decisions to make the most of their draft picks and improve their performance in the upcoming season.
Photo by Nathan Macoul on Unsplash
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE