The New England Patriots had an odd 2023 NFL Draft. Now that the dust has settled after the long weekend, did the Pats do enough to help their roster?
Does the 2023 NFL Draft put the Patriots back into playoff contention? Here are their draft picks, in order:
-CB Christian Gonzalez
-EDGE Keion White
-LB Marte Mapu
-C Jake Andrews
-K Chad Ryland
-G Sidy Sow
-G Atonio Mafi
-WR Kayshon Boutte
-P Bryce Baringer
-WR Demario Douglas
-DB Ameer Speed
-CB Isaiah Bolden
There’s quite a few takeaways here. Firstly, they did not target a wide receiver until some of their final picks, which was frustrating to witness. Kayshon Boutte could be a very nice late round steal for them, though. The former LSU product does possess some nice qualities that could translate into the NFL.
But take a look in the middle pack of their selections. They took kicker Chad Ryland right in the middle of their draft. It’s clear that they want him to replace Nick Folk for the long term. Wrapped up between the Ryland pick are three interior offensive linemen, but no tackles.
It would have been nice to have seen one of those interior players be a tackle, as their interior is pretty solid all around.
They took what they hope to be a franchise punter in Bryce Baringer as well.
And then, lastly but certainly not least are their top selections. Christian Gonzalez was the best cornerback in the draft and the Patriots were able to trade down and still land him. He’s got size and ability to play in man and zone. He could be a perfect fit in New England.
Keion White at EDGE was a hidden need for the team in my opinion. Matt Judon is getting old and Josh Uche is entering the last year of his deal, so White could step in as a full time starter as soon as next year.
Overall, I think the defense is now locked, loaded, and ready to go. Marte Mapu is a classic Pats’ pick. He can play multiple positions and comes from a lesser known school.
I think we’ll see the defense pick up right where they left off, but I’m afraid that they did not do enough to fix the offense in the NFL Draft. No tackles or highly rated wide receivers to be seen. We’ll see how this class performs for the Patriots as soon as this coming season.