As the 2023 draft unfolded, it was apparent that adding much-needed youth and talent to the special teams unit was a priority for Belichick.
Because the Patriots were seemingly able to draft two of the top players at their positions in punting and kicking, Nick Folk will likely find himself fighting for his job come August.
Although he wasn't the original plan at kicker, Folk was signed at the perfect time in 2019. Longtime kicker Stephen Gostkowski had been performing poorly due to a left hip injury, and he was placed on injured reserve in October of that season.
A few kickers were brought in to replace Gostkowski for the remainder of the season, and after the latest had been released, Folk was signed to play for the final seven games of the season.
In the four years since then, he has become one of the most consistent and reliable players on the entire team, which became even more significant as the special teams unit began to go downhill. Now entering his 16th season, Folk will compete with rookie Chad Ryland to remain the team's go-to kicker for 2023.