The Patriots' 2-7 start already has fans looking ahead to the 2024 draft and rightfully so. The way the roster is currently assembled, the Patriots will need an infusion of talent fast. However, that's not to say there aren't any building blocks already on the roster.
Since the NFL changed to a 17-game schedule in 2021, we no longer have an "official" halfway point of the season, so it's hard to give out mid-year grades, but after nine games, here's a look at how the Patriots rookie class has performed.
Christian Gonzalez (First Round), A
The Patriots caught a break when Gonzalez fell into their lap with the 17th pick in the 2023 draft. Gonzalez immediately took on a starting spot and made his presence felt during the first few weeks of the season, shutting down A.J. Brown, Tyreek Hill, and Garrett Wilson.
Gonzalez's performance against the Dolphins was most encouraging as he held Hill to a current season-low 40 yards and recorded an interception.
The hot start from Gonzalez had him in line to be the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year until he suffered a season-ending injury against the Cowboys. His injury has left a considerable void in the secondary, but it looks like the Patriots have a defensive back to build their defense around moving forward.
Keion White (Second Round), B-
White got off to a hot start with a strong showing against the Eagles in Week One but found himself mainly in a situational role until Matthew Judon went down with an injury. White seemed to be on his way towards having a big day against the Raiders with two tackles in only eight snaps until he suffered an injury of his own, keeping him out of the win over Buffalo.
White was back and played in a season-high 62% of the snaps against Miami and hopefully can contribute down the stretch.
Marte Mapu (Third Round), C+
Many fans asked, "Who?" when the Patriots selected Mapu in the third round out of Sacramento State, but he quickly made a name for himself during training camp. However, he finds himself stuck behind guys like Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, and Adrian Phillips, as he has almost strictly been a special teams player.
Jake Andrews (Fourth Round), C-
Despite all the injuries and ineffectiveness along the offensive line, Andrews has yet to see the field on offense this season, which is not a great sign for a fourth-round pick.
Chad Ryland (Fourth Round), D
Spending a fourth-round pick on a kicker was a head-scratcher. The decision looks even worse now that Ryland ranks 31st in the NFL in field goal percentage (71.4%, 10/14) while the guy the Patriots traded (Nick Folk) to make room for Ryland ranks first (100%, 19-19). Even worse is the Patriots drafted Ryland for his big leg, but he is only 1-3 on field goals over 50 yards while Folk is 3-3.
Sidy Sow (Fourth Round), B-
Sow has had to step up and play an extended role due to injuries along the offensive and has held his own. According to Pro Football Focus, Sow has yet to allow a sack on the season, although his overall grade of 58.7 leaves a lot to be desired.
Atonio Mafi (Fifth Round), C-
Mafi was also pressed into action due to injury, but unlike Sow, he struggled. Mafi has surrendered four sacks and has committed four penalties, resulting in a very low grade of 29.3 from PFF.
Kayshon Boutte (Sixth Round), D
Boutte has yet to see the field since he failed to get his second foot down at the end of Week One's loss to the Eagles. Even with injuries to Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, and JuJu Smith-Schuster in recent weeks, Boutte has been inactive despite reports of practicing well. It will be interesting to see if he sees the field at all in the second half.
Bryce Baringer (Sixth Round), B+
When your offense stinks, you better have a good punter, and Baringer has been just that for the Patriots in 2023. Baringer has been able to flip the field on multiple occasions and has a very good percentage of punts (47.8%) downed inside of the opponent's 20-yard line.
Demario Douglas (Sixth Round), A-
Douglas seems like a steal in the sixth round, as he's easily the most explosive weapon on this porous offense. A fumble against the Dolphins in Week Two put him in the dog house, but Douglas has rebounded and is currently second on the team with 277 receiving yards.