With 11 selections in this mock draft, the Patriots can address almost every need on both sides of the ball, as New England could be trade candidates in the 2023 NFL Draft.
After going 8-9 in 2022, Bill Belichick and the Patriots will look to retool both sides of the ball with new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Amid trade rumors with Mac Jones, the offense is lacking some explosiveness at wide receiver (to pair with JuJu Smith-Schuster) and should look to draft an offensive tackle to solidify the opposite side of Trent Brown. On defense, their biggest needs are an outside cornerback (as Jonathan Jones can move back to the slot) and a pass rusher on the defensive line.
Patriots 7-Round 2023 Mock Draft: New England Stays Local At Pick 14
On NFL Mock Draft Database, here is what I did for the Patriots assuming they aren’t trading up or down in this 7-round mock draft simulator. Other than special teams, New England has essentially every position group addressed, in this scenario, with this many picks for the draft.
R1. P14- Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
New England could go offensive tackle here, but I think a dynamic playmaker like Zay Flowers from Boston College makes sense and it gives Mac Jones, along with the O’Brien offense, a versatile weapon they currently lack on the roster.
R2. P46- Matthew Bergeron, T, Syracuse
While Syracuse offensive tackle Matthew Bergeron could be taken prior to this pick, he was available for me in the simulator and slots right in at either left or right tackle to replace Riley Reiff, giving Mac Jones better pass protection up front.
R3. P76- Darius Rush, CB, South Carolina
South Carolina’s Darius Rush has the physical profile and speed to play on the outside, as size is something the Patriots are lacking in their corner room with their abundance of slot corners.
R4. Pick 107- JL Skinner, S, Boise State
New England already has a former Boise State safety in Kyle Dugger, so J.L. Skinner, who has massive size and good run support ability, can play both free and strong behind their other safeties like Dugger and Jabrill Peppers as he recovers from his injury.
R4. P117- YaYa Diaby, EDGE, Louisville
YaYa Diaby, the defensive end from Louisville, can play around the defensive line at his size and gives New England another power edge rusher to add behind Matt Judon.
R4. Pick 135- Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan
Hunter Henry was disappointing last year and Mike Gesicki is more of a receiver, so getting Michigan tight end Luke Schoonmaker gives them young depth who is balanced all around.
R4. Pick 184- Ricky Stromberg, IOL, Arkansas
The Patriots don’t currently have a backup plan for David Andrews, so Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg gives them flexibility on their interior offensive line, as he could back up guards Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu also potentially.
R6. Pick 187- Keondre Coburn, IDL, Texas
Texas defensive tackle Keondre Coburn could play the nose tackle position for the Patriots, as it gives them some youth and depth to compete with Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy Sr., and Carl Davis Jr as a potential disruptor in the run game.
R6. Pick192- Sirvocea Dennis, LB, Pittsburgh
Despite being on the smaller side for a linebacker, Pittsburgh’s SirVocea Dennis is an efficient blitzer and would give New England another body (and core special teamer) to add at SAM linebacker, potentially competing with Jahlani Tavai and Mack Wilson Sr.
R6. Pick 210- Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
New England lost Damien Harris but added James Robinson, so adding someone with potential receiving chops and a downhill runner like Northwestern’s Evan Hull, to pair with Rhamondre Stevenson, fits the need.
R7. Pick 245- Stetson Bennett IV, QB, Georgia
This could be a kicker/punter or another double dip at a position but adding Georgia’s Stetson Bennett this late in the draft, I couldn’t pass it up as he could go a round earlier and would compete with Bailey Zappe and Trace McSorley for the backup job at quarterback.
The New England Patriots are usually unpredictable in the draft but they were major wildcards last year, especially in round one as they surprised and took Strange. What will Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have in store for this year’s NFL Draft?