Returning to the top spot in the AFC East is the New England Patriots’ mission in 2023, and the draft is a very important step toward that goal. With strong offenses from the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, plus the New York Jets should add Aaron Rodgers to their roster for a while, the team will have a bumpy road in the division.
Despite fighting for a playoff spot through the end of the 2022 season, the Patriots still have some glaring holes in their roster that need to be filled if they are not to lose to the other three teams in the division. Making the right initial Choices make all the difference.
First round: Offensive tackle or cornerback?
You could argue that at No. 14, New England would be fine investing in either of those spots. Picking someone to protect the blind side of Mac Jones, for example, would be interesting for the depth of tackle in this class while not relying so much on Riley Reiff or Trent Brown; cornerback isn’t the most obvious need either, but getting CB1 for the position Value issues are completely understandable.
The best thing to do then is to wait and see how the board will be drawn. From Devin Witherspoon to Christian Gonzalez to Paris Johnson Jr. As for Broderick Jones, I think the Patriots have some acceptable picks if the team bolsters those specific positions — and for pick No. 14, given the quarterback competition at the top of the first round, no Too likely there is no value there.
Free agency has done a good job of removing some of the need for the offense, so I believe picking cornerback will be a more interesting move for New England. After all, the division will consist of Josh Allen/Stefon Diggs, Aaron Rodgers/Garrett Wilson and Tua Tagovailoa/Tyreek Hill. The duo of Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones is solid; a cornerback with the talent to dominate the group would be a blow to Bill Belichick.
second day wide receiver is important
The Patriots goals are far from the worst in the league, however, need more talent, although the arrival of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki is a good move for the team. New England must end Day 2’s pick with another goal to help McJones resume his upward career trajectory after a dismal 2022.
At No. 28, the second pick, Bill Belichick had picks Nos. 46 and 76 (from the Carolina Panthers). If the class doesn’t have a hat-off name at the top of the first round, the interesting options for Day 2 are even more apparent. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if this receiver only comes in the third round, especially since positional value at offensive tackle and cornerback is still needed.
Offensive depth needs to come on Day 3
If in the first two quarters we talked about the most important holes in the team, New England tends to be very busy on Day 3, when the team is expected to have eight picks. Time to worry about depth inside the offensive line, and if any player stands out, a third tight end or a more aggressive tackle are interesting options to develop at this point.
That’s where you can’t fix roster holes in the draft — even if it’s not always at the No. 1 pick, because it’s hard to break through in a rookie year, let alone in the final rounds. So it’s time to bet on players with some developmental potential who don’t need to spend the night on the court. You know that very primitive supersports tackle? With four picks in the sixth round, you can bet on him with no risk.
The New England Patriots’ plan in the draft is clear. The team cannot achieve it overnight, so it is very important to give priority to covering positions in the first two days. This would be the best way for Bill Belichick to change the course of the past three years and make New England a threat again.
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