The New England Patriots need to nail the 2023 NFL Draft. Who are some round one surprise players they could potentially target? I don’t think it’ll be smart to think outside the box here, but with Bill Belichick’s decision making lately, anything feels possible.
The Patriots should simply stick to what the roster needs. They need a difference maker at wide receiver, some help at tackle, and some help at cornerback. One of those three positions should be their first round selection, bit we obviously cannot say that with certainty.
Hopefully we aren’t talking about the Patriots taking a running back or tight end with the 14th overall pick, but we just might be surprised.
NFL Mock Draft: Predicting Round 1 surprises for Patriots
Bijan Robinson, RB
There has been a little bit of smoke surrounding Bijan Robinson and the Pats. Many have considered Robinson to be the best overall player in the 2023 NFL Drat, which is very high praise for a running back. Robinson will go in the first round, no doubt, but the Pats taking him would be a huge surprise.
They’d likely end up trading Rhamondre Stevenson in this case, and Robinson doesn’t exactly fill a position of need, so this would be a surprise to say the least.
Bryan Bresee, DT
I mean, the Pats could use some help along the defensive line, but it’s largely a very good unit from top to bottom. Games in the NFL are won in the trenches, so fielding a talented offensive and defensive line is paramount.
With Davon Godchaux, Christian Barmore and others, the Pats D-line is a solid unit, so selecting Bresee if he’s available at 14 would be a surprise.
Lukas Van Ness, EDGE
Josh Uche is entering the last year of his rookie deal and Matthew Judon is entering his age-31 season. This is a subtle need for the Pats, but is it a first round worthy position to take? Well, EDGE rushers, yes, of course they are very much worth being taken in the first round, but I’m not sure this wouldn’t be a surprise if the Patriots drafted Van Ness from Iowa.
It’s a good move for the long-term, but the team does have way more urgent needs. This would be a mild surprise to see an EDGE rusher taken in the first round. I could see if it the Pats wanted to move down the draft boards, but not at 14, I don’t think.