New England Patriots 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

The New England Patriots need to determine if Mac Jones is the answer. To do that, they need to get him help in the 2023 NFL Draft.

As we approach the 2023 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots still have holes on the roster to fill. Building around Mac Jones is paramount if they are truly committed to him at the quarterback position. This team lacks true star-caliber playmakers, and the offensive line is no longer the reliable strength of the offense. The Patriots’ draft plan must involve answering those questions.

New England Patriots Team Needs Following Round 1

  • OT
  • WR
  • EDGE
  • DT

The Patriots need to get Jones true playmakers to work with. He’s not a Tier 1 or 2 quarterback athletically, so he needs athletic help around him.

Wide receiver should be a priority in this draft, even though New England has had difficulty in the past developing that position. That said, every year is a new year and a new environment. The talent available may be too good to pass up.

MORE: PFN’s FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator (With Trades)

Likewise, the Patriots need to steal a tackle early, as the drop-off is sizable after that. For years, the offensive line, coached by the legend Dante Scarnecchia, was among the best in football. They need help now to return to that level. Getting a tackle who can protect the edges of the offense should be a priority.

On defense, New England needs EDGE help. They lack a dynamic pass rusher who can consistently win matchups and attack the quarterback. The Patriots answered their cornerback need with an excellent fit in Round 1.

Results for Patriots 2023 Draft Pick

Round 1, Pick 17 | Christian Gonzalez

The Patriots get a top-10 talent in this draft at pick No. 17. Following a trade with the Steelers, which subsequently screwed their division rivals in New York, the Patriots moved down and still got a top player at a position of need. Christian Gonzalez is a perfect fit in New England’s defense and should come in ready to make a Day 1 impact.

Predictions for Remaining Team 2023 Draft Picks

Round 2, Pick 15 | Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

The Patriots answer their need at wide receiver with a talented track star. Jalin Hyatt needs some refinement in the techniques necessary to be consistently open at the next level, but he has the talent to develop and produce as a weapon for Jones and company.

Round 3, Pick 13 | Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia

Warren McClendon is an exciting player at the tackle position. He has good enough size and is a fluid mover. He’s a bit raw as a technician, but can certainly develop those necessary skills.

McClendon is somewhat of a two-hand puncher, which, when timed correctly, showcases his power. However, when he misses, he gets in trouble. If McClendon can learn independent hands and how to time the “flash” technique, he could be a steal in the third round.

Round 4, Pick 5 | Zacch Pickens, DT, South Carolina

Another player who is elite for his size and plays with great power. Zacch Pickens could develop into another versatile chess piece along the defensive front, which would give Belichick the ability to show multiple fronts.

Round 4, Pick 15 | Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU

The Pats get a relentless player who will give maximum effort on every play. While undersized, Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson is fearless and possesses the desire to master the craft.

Round 4, Pick 18 | Isaiah McGuire, EDGE

They got this pick from the Steelers when they swapped picks in the first round. This will help the get a serviceable edge player in this draft. McGuire has strong power in his hands and can be quite explosive.

Round 4, Pick 33 | Owen Pappoe, LB, Auburn

Owen Pappoe is an explosive athlete who can make plays all over the second level of a defense. This isn’t necessarily a need, but Pappoe was the best player available, and the Pats adding talent is not something they’ll turn down.

Round 6, Pick 7 | Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, UCLA

Not a need, on the surface. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is fast rising up draft boards, and I’d be surprised if he’s available this late in the draft. But if he is, the Pats should not hesitate to add him.

Jones is far from a proven franchise QB, and the chance at adding talent to that room is something Belichick should do. He knows a thing or two about developing sixth-round quarterbacks.

Round 6, Pick 10 | Charlie Jones, WR, Purdue

The receiver out of Purdue will give them another weapon to develop and add to the options Jones can develop chemistry with.

Round 6, Pick 15 | Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas

Adding depth to an area of need with a player like Moro Ojomo, who has great power and can play a bit of nose in an odd front and hold his leverage.

Round 6, Pick 33 | Camerun Peoples, RB, Appalachian State

Not a need, but this late in the draft, you’re taking chances on players to try and find a diamond in the rough, which Camerun Peoples has the potential to be. It wouldn’t be an NFL Draft if the Patriots didn’t take at least one player from a small school.

Round 7, Pick 28 | Tyson Bagent, QB, Shepherd

Again, taking a player from a school no one has heard of is a Bill Belichick specialty. Adding an athlete to your quarterback room is never a bad thing to do, as you hope to catch lightning in a bottle.

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