For the second time in three seasons, the New England Patriots found themselves on the outside for the playoffs. Much of that lack of success in 2022 is due to a disjointed attack on attack, headlined by Bill Belichick, bringing in Matt Patricia and Joe Judge to oversee the attack. It has seen a dramatic drop in production on that side of the ball and a regression from 2021 first-rounder Mac Jones.
Well, Belichick seemed to find the error out of his way and began the process of getting the organization back on track, recently hiring Bill O’Brien to become the team’s next offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. . While this is a start, the roster could also be upgraded so they can truly compete in what is a highly competitive AFC. And it starts at the NFL Draft.
There are several positions New England could look to improve and we’ll highlight a few areas they need to focus on once the draft kicks off in late April. Before we do that, let’s take a look at the picks the Patriots currently have at their disposal.
Note: Compensatory selections have not yet been awarded.
Patriots 2023 draft pick
Last fictional drafts
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Main areas of interest
As a few of our draft experts at CBS Sports note, finding a top-notch offensive tackle is paramount for New England and could be a good position to get in touch with this No. 14 overall pick. In fact, this could be an area where the Patriots double down in the draft given the need on the roster. Confusion at the offensive call point shielded some major issues along the offensive line as this unit struggled to keep whoever was under right center. New England ranked 25th in the NFL in adjusted sack rate, which just needs to improve if this group is to hit its cap. Isaiah Wynn is expected to enter free agency this offseason, and the Patriots could clear about $11 million from the salary cap by removing Trent Brown, meaning they could be without two of their starting tackles. Even without considering Wynn and Brown’s uncertain future, the Patriots should be looking to upgrade from those players and the draft could be a cost-effective way to do so.
Wide receiver has also been a position that has plagued the Patriots in recent years, especially in the NFL Draft. One of Belichick’s blind spots has been his inability to draft and develop wide receivers during his tenure in New England, especially those taken in the first two days of the draft. The jury is still out on last year’s second-round pick Tyquan Thornton, but the Patriots should continue to try their luck at that position on Day 2, like they did a year ago. Meanwhile, Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers are expected to be free agents, which reinforces the need to attract more pass-catching talent. New England should be looking to retain Meyers, but they are still missing a true No. 1 in attack. One way to try to solve this problem would be to consider the trade route. As we saw in the draft last year (ex. AJ Brown and Marquise Brown), veteran receivers could be on the move, especially if they’re in the market for a new contract. The Patriots could use some of their draft capital, combined with their significant amount of cap space, to be one of the possible landing spots should a wide star come loose and look to be traded over the weekend. repechage end.
Finally, continuing to fill the pool of young cornerbacks in high school is a laudable undertaking. The Patriots signed a few promising rookies last year in Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, and they should continue to bring in youngsters in that role, especially with Jonathan Jones in free agency.