Patriots 2023 Draft Grades
There was a good bit of intrigue surrounding the Patriots leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft. Were they really shopping Mac Jones? Would they take one of the top quarterbacks if one happened to drop to them? Other team needs included offensive tackle, wide receiver, and every level defensively. The Patriots were super active the entire draft, making a grand total of twelve selections. So how did the Patriots make out?
17th Overall Selection (Rd 1) – Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
There were many draft experts that thought that Gonzalez would be the first cornerback off the board. So the fact that he was still there, even after trading back with the Steelers, puts him in that “steal” category. Christian has good length and speed, and even though I think he’s best outside in press coverage, he’s got the skills to line up over the slot as well.
46th Overall Selection (Rd 2) – Keion White, Edge, Georgia Tech
White was a prospect that I disagreed with the experts on. Some had him as a potential first-rounder, but I saw him as an early day 3 guy. He flashed a good bit, but it wasn’t nearly consistent enough for my taste. I personally think this was a bit of a stretch here. Especially considering the number of picks that New England had.
76th Overall Selection (Rd 3) – Marte Mapu, LB, Sacramento State
I thought this was an interesting pick. Though listed as a linebacker, he’s believed to have the ability to play a hybrid linebacker/safety position. He’s rangy and powerful and does well against the run.
107th Overall Selection (Rd 4) – Jake Andrews, OG, Troy
The first of three fourth-round picks, Andrews is a powerful but quick lineman that holds his blocks all the way to the whistle. While he’s smooth getting into position, he can get give some ground against powerful bull rushers.
112th Overall Selection (Rd4) – Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
Most people don’t question Bill Belichick, but I’ve got to here. The Patriots already have two kickers on their roster, including Nick Folk. There were far more important positions that could have been targeted here.
117th Overall Selection (Rd 4) – Sidy Sow, OG, Eastern Michigan
After picking a kicker, the Patriots got back on track selecting Sow with their last pick in the fourth round. Sow was a four-year starter at Eastern Michigan, that’s better run blocking than pass blocking. Started his career at left tackle before moving inside, so he’ll bring a little versatility with him to New England.
144th Overall Selection (Rd 5) – Antonio Mafi, OG, UCLA
A former defensive tackle, Mafi switched to the offensive side and became a big, powerful interior lineman. Like Sow, he’s better with run blocking. He’s still a work in progress, as his fundamentals are inconsistent.
187th Overall Selection (Rd 6) – Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Boutte is a fluid route runner that consistently shows the ability to create separation. You have to be concerned about his 11% career drop rate.
192nd Overall Selection (Rd 6) – Byrce Baringer, P, Michigan State
They had two kickers and still drafted another. Then turned around and drafted a punter with two already on the roster. I haven’t done the research, but this might be the first team to draft both a punter and a kicker in the same draft.
210th Overall Selection (Rd 6) – Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
Another smaller receiver, but has good speed and can be helpful in the return game.
214th Overall Selection (Rd 6) – Ameer Speed, CB, Michigan State
A lengthy, speedy defensive back that has his best chance of making the team on special teams.
245th Overall Selection (Rd 7) – Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State
Another potential special teamer. Has a good blend of size and speed, but only started 13 games in his college career.
Patriots 2023 Draft Grades Final Thoughts
Considering the number of picks they had, I really expected the Patriots to be able to fill more holes than they did. Miami only had four picks, and I could make the argument that they got more immediate help than the Patriots did.
Overall Draft Grade: C
Patriots 2023 Draft Grades Analyst – Brandon Claburn