Mock drafts are all the rage right now, as the 2023 NFL draft is less than three weeks away. When it comes to the experts deciding who they believe the Patriots will pick, they tend to fall in line with precisely what the team needs, with little to no surprise choices amongst them.
Although that may differ from what some fans want to see, sometimes the most obvious selection is the best one, especially when the player will be an automatic starter and impact player to a needy part of the team.
ESPN has made its fair share of mock drafts, but they also have a draft pick predictor that shows the odds of where specific players will fall come draft day.
According to this simulator, the Patriots are most likely to draft Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones, followed by another lineman with Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr.
We’ve seen Bill Belichick add free agent linemen during free agency this offseason in Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson, but it’s unclear whether either will be starters. However, they bring the versatility the Patriots love, as they both have played left and right tackle and could be suitable replacements for Isaiah Wynn.
Since New England has their highest draft choice this year in over a decade, they will have many players to choose from. Even though the Cole Strange pick last year wasn’t the most exciting, picking Jones or Johnson would fill a significant hole immediately, thus boosting Mac Jones’ chances of being more successful next season.
But the bigger question will be if Belichick decides to stay put at 14 or trade back, which he is known for doing.
The offensive line class this year is said to be quite deep, with the probability of snagging a talented player in the later rounds more likely than in years past. So if they choose to go a different direction in round one, say wide receiver or cornerback, not all hope is lost.