The 2023 NFL draft has come and gone and did Bill Belichick and the Patriots do enough to improve their team?
Team Needs Heading into the Draft
They do not have a true number-one receiver on the depth chart. JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton, and Kendrick Bourne are the top 4 guys and none of them possess that #1 guy vibe.
Trent Brown and Riley Reiff are the top 2 of the group and Brown had a terrible 2022 season. Landing a top guy here would go a long way in helping Mac Jones improve.
Jonathan Jones and Marcus Jones were the top guys heading into the draft and neither one is a shutdown corner. Despite Bill Belichick being known for his ability to develop corners, several questions remain about this position.
2023 Draft Picks
|Christian Gonzalez, CB (Oregon)
|Keion White, EDGE (Georgia Tech)
|Marte Mapu, S (Sacramento State)
|Jake Andrews, C (Troy)
|Chad Ryland, K (Maryland)
|Sidy Sow, G (Eastern Michigan)
|Atonio Mafi, IOL (UCLA)
|Kayshon Boutte, WR (LSU)
|Bryce Baringer, P (Michigan State)
|Demario Douglas, WR (Liberty)
|Ameer Speed, CB (Michigan State)
|Isaiah Bolden, CB (Jackson State)
New England and Bill Belichick hit a homerun getting CB Christian Gonzalez, he was probably the best corner in the draft and it now gives them that shutdown guy to allow the defense to take some more chances. Also, CB Isaiah Bolden is intriguing as he possesses great size and speed. He could be a nice sleeper pick if he develops in this system.
The offensive tackle position was not helped by the draft. Bill Belichick must believe Trent Brown can recover from 2022 or he didn’t like the position depth past the first round.
Last is the wide receiver position, this was the most important in my opinion. Boutte is a hit/miss guy as he was a projected 1st round pick in the past but really struggled since. If he can make the team out of training camp and find his talent he could surprise but he is still not the true #1 they need. Demario Douglas will be a slot guy who could make the team and contribute.
One positive is they addressed their special teams’ needs in selecting the top punter and a top kicker. Will this help them win games….possibly, but these are not flashy picks.