Realistic Patriots 2023 Draft Report Card and Redraft

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Round 3 - 76th overall pick

Pick: Marte Mapu, LB/S, Sacramento State

Grade: C-

Alternate Picks: Devon Achane, RB, Texas A&M; Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State.

Is Mapu a safety or a linebacker? Will he be playing a new position called safety/linebacker? What, exactly, is the value of that? Why not just draft a traditional safety to replace McCourty if that was the goal? Does anyone actually know what the goal was here?

Only one of the Belichicks can apparently these questions since I’ve seen nothing else except speculation. Mapu is still an excellent athlete, and I had selected him in many of my own mock drafts: in Round 6, where I thought he had great value.

Achane has standout speed (4.32 40-yard dash time at the Combine) and had 36 receptions in 2022 for the Aggies. He would have given the Pats a chance to spell Rhamondre Stephenson with a true 3rd-down back who could operate in the tradition of Kevin Faulk and James White, a model that worked well for the Pats for many years.

Or why not fill a need and select a tight end like Tucker Craft here?

Matt Groh, Patriots Director of Player Personnel, explained that some of the tight ends favored by the Patriots went off the board very quickly: “There were some guys up top. There was some good depth in the middle of the draft and those players came off really, really fast.“ 

Despite those comments, there were TE options for the Pats in this draft and Tucker Kraft, ranked 6th among TEs by many draft analysts, including Mel Kiper and Walter Football, represented a great option here.

Round 4 picks

Pick: Jake Andrews, C, Troy State             

Grade: C

Alternate Picks: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State; Carter Warren, OT, Pittsburgh.

Andrews narrowly beats out Sidy Sow for the Pats Annual Offensive Lineman Reach Award. Andrews received a grade of 5.89 from, which equates to “traits or talent to be above average backup.” Pats apparently drafted him in Round 4 based on the theory that “anyone named Andrews” is bound to be a great center. Okay, I actually like Andrews, just not where they picked him. They had bigger needs in Round 4 than center.

At 6’8” tall and weighing in at 374 pounds, Jones is a massive man who also happened to also be the 7th-ranked offensive tackle by Walter Football in a draft in which five offensive tackles were selected in the first round. It appears that NFL GMs place a greater value on offensive tackles than centers.

Warren, at 6’5” tall and 311 pounds, was not rated nearly as high as Jones but wouldn’t have given the Pats another decent option at tackle.

Pick: Chad Ryland, K, Maryland.

Grade: D+

Alternate Picks: Tyler Scott, WR, Cincinnati; Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue.

The Pats were evidently flustered by the “kicker run” that occurred in Round 3 when Jake Moody was selected, but they still didn’t need to draft a kicker in Round 4 and definitely didn’t need to trade up to get one. Neither was Ryland the only option.

 As an alternative strategy, how about waiting until the Round 6 or 7 to see who was available? If Ryland was gone, they could have selected Christopher Dunn from North Carolina State or Gavin Baechle from UTEP, or signed one of them as free agents. Moody and Ryland were not the only kickers available of NFL quality.

This would have been a great spot to select a slot receiver—perhaps the next Brown, Welker, or Edelman. Tyler Scott was a highly rated slot receiver with 54 receptions and 9 touchdowns for the Bearcats in 2022. Jones led the NCAA with 110 receptions in 2022 and ran a 4.43 40 at the NFL Combine. Either would have been a great option.

Pick: Sidy Sow, OL, Eastern Michigan.

Grade: C

Alternate Picks: Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia; Braeden Daniels, G, Utah.

Sow was the 18th-ranked offensive guard by and is another certified reach. Reportedly, Sow has limited experience at tackle and the Pats might want him to play tackle. Let’s see, an athletic guard who we can make into a tackle? Wasn’t this the story we heard with Isaiah Wynn?

My solution to the need for tackles is to draft tackles. Doesn’t that make the evaluation easier? Maybe I am missing something here or maybe someone else is.

McClendon was the 14th-ranked offensive tackle by and, if guard was the preference, Daniels was the 10th-ranked offensive guard by Walter Football. Either would have been a good option.