2023 NFL Draft: New England Patriots
Quietly, The New England Patriots have had three consecutive solid draft classes. In the 2020 NFL Draft, they added Kyle Dugger, Michael Onwenu, and Josh Uche. In 2021, they nabbed Mac Jones, Christian Barmore, and Rhamondre Stevenson. This past year, the Pats added Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Bailey Zappe, Pierre Strong Jr., and Kevin Harris.
While the Patriots roster mostly lacks name recognition, they have built a foundation of young, impact players who have contributed early in their careers. That said, the Patriots still need to fill several holes as they continue to navigate their place in the league, following their two-decade run of success with Tom Brady under center.
Top Draft Needs: OT, WR, CB
The Patriots have a real problem at offensive tackle. Isaiah Wynn, a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, has battled injury and inconsistent play in his first four years in the league. Some believed that Wynn always projected better inside than he did at tackle, and he is due to hit free agency this offseason. It appears probable that the Patriots are ready to move on from the Wynn experiment.
Trent Brown is under contract for next season but the Patriots could potentially move on. His performance has been noticeably uneven and critics have speculated that he has seemed disengaged. He is currently tied for the league lead in penalties, with 13 on the year.
The Patriots must also look to upgrade their receiver room, with Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers scheduled for free agency in the offseason. Tyquan Thornton, a second round selection in last year’s draft, has shown flashes of high-end potential but has yet to develop a consistency the Patriots can feel comfortable with.
DeVante Parker, signed last season, has a mere 25 receptions and one touchdown on the season. The Patriots have historically been terrible at drafting receivers, but they may have no other choice but to take another swing at it. Cornerback and safety are two other positions to keep an eye on, as Devin McCourty could retire in the offseason, and Jonathan Jones is set to be a free agent.