With the 2023 NFL Draft quickly approaching, each team has started to narrow down their draft boards and figure out which positions are the top ones for them. Typically, the first three rounds are the most important with getting the prospects that will be immediate impact players. Heading into the draft, these are the top three positions that should be on the New England Patriots checklist to address in the first three rounds.
To really see if Mac Jones can be the future of the offense for New England, they have to do a better job of surrounding him with receiving talent. A room of DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers didn’t exactly do wonders last season, and while the team did sign JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency, they need a young playmaker at the position. When looking at the receiving room from last year, they were 21st in targets with 297, 21st in receptions with 191, and 21st in yards with 2,421. When on the field, Parker was good with averaging 17.4 yards per reception, but he hasn’t played a full season since 2019. New England needs a receiver that can come in and open up the offense vertically, whether that is an immediate starter, or someone who starts off as depth and challenges to start as the season progresses.
Potential Fits: Quentin Johnston, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan Addison, Michael Wilson, Cedric Tillman, Marvin Mims
The secondary wasn’t exactly spectacular for the Patriots in 2022. They allowed 3,681 passing yards, which was the 16th most, but also 28 passing touchdowns which was the sixth most. While Jack Jones and Marcus Jones were both good last season, neither saw more than 40% of the defensive snaps. The entire room also struggled against bigger receivers, like in the 6-foot-3 range. Ideally, within the first three rounds, the Patriots would aim to add a cornerback to the outside rotation that can cover some of the bigger, physical outside receivers.
Potential Fits: Joey Porter Jr., Deonte Banks, Kelee Ringo, Julius Brents, Tyrique Stevenson, Darius Rush, Jaylon Jones
Trent Brown and Riley Reiff are signed only for the 2023 season, and addressing the tackle spot should be an area the Patriots look to address now for the future rather than later. There is quite a dip in starting quality tackles as the draft goes on as well, so getting this pick secured early is ideal. Jones saw 110 pressures, in which 41 of them became sacks. They need security and better depth on the line going forward, especially at the tackle spots, for the offense to truly unlock what they want to achieve going forward.
Potential Fits: Darnell Wright, Matthew Bergeron, Wanya Morris Cody Mauch, Blake Freeland