The only thing sillier than writing a Patriots mock draft if you’re not a connected insider is writing seven more, updating your ramblings every week.
“Version 6.0: I Woke Up Quietly in the Dead of Night to Shuffle Two Names Across a Gigantic Whiteboard”. Yeah, thanks! Probably just going to wait for the draft to occur, but thank you. Get some sleep.
Unfortunately, it’s a necessary part of our content cycle, as well as a fun activity for certain extremely passionate fans of college football/the draft process. I will give those people their druthers, even if I won’t necessarily choose to put too much stock in their work.
But 2023 Mock Drafts? Even if you call them “Way-Too-Early,” you’re selling yourself short to cover your tracks. This is way, way, WAY too early.
No one knows where the standings will land when the 2022 season wraps. No one knows what the Patriots’ needs will be in a full calendar year. Last season, these were likely written under the assumption that Cam Newton might require weapons.
As far as content quality goes, 2023 Mocks are right up there with foreign-language robot articles that auto-populate the internet the second an embargo is lifted on a popular TV show. These NFL prognosticators might as well be writing, “The Ozark finale, which took place on a television over the course of Sunday, featured many twists as well as turns.”
Patriots 2023 Mock Drafts should not exist.
And, for the Patriots specifically, here’s a spoiler: your Way-Too-Early 2023 Mock Draft is wrong. The New England Patriots will not be making the pick you’re projecting for them. They’ll trade down and take a D-II cornerback whose tape you haven’t watched yet. But best of luck with your content philosophy!
I’ve done it. I’ve scoured a few 2023 think pieces. The Patriots might be picking 16th, or they could be selecting 21st. They might target an LSU linebacker, or perhaps a top collegiate tight end. Maybe Mac Jones retires to join a monastery? Worth preparing for. In that case, the Patriots should probably trade up for fast-rising Kentucky QB Will Levis.
I ask, why not go further? Why stop at 2023? In 2024, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots might have a glaring need at left tackle. After an unprecedented 3-14 slide in 2025, the Pats need all the help they can get, and will have to replace Damien Harris, who stepped on a bear trap during a team-building trip to the Adirondacks.
In 2026? You guessed it. Traded down for an eighth-grader.
Assessing picks seconds after the draft is bad enough. I beg of you, do not write a 2023 Mock Draft. And, if you must write one, do not release it.
At the end of the day, they’ll all just provide false hope that Belichick will choose to stay put and choose the best player available for once.