What experts think of the Patriots through too early mock drafts

New England Patriots. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
New England Patriots. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Southern California Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) scores a touchdown. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Who the New England Patriots select

Even though the New England Patriots don’t succeed at drafting wide receivers, some experts believe the Patriots should try, try again. It doesn’t matter that New England selected Thornton in the second round in 2022. A lot of mocks believe a wide receiver should be the first selection in 2023.

To a degree, the projection makes sense. Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers will be free agents in 2023. Potentially losing two starters creates a need. Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba or USC’s Jordan Addison would be impact players, if selected.

That’s a massive if. Again, we know the Patriots’ history at drafting receivers. And the last one they drafted in the first round, N’Keal Harry, didn’t work out. New England selecting a receiver in the first round, a year after drafting one early, feels very unlikely.

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What actually seems plausible, even this soon, is adding more to the defense. On two occasions an edge rusher was projected to New England. We’re still waiting on a breakout season from Josh Uche. Anfernee Jennings was vastly improved in the preseason, but he has to do it when the games matter. Jennings was inactive on Sunday, which makes me wonder if this suggests anything.

If neither have the season many are hoping for, then the Patriots should look for their replacements. Two names to watch for is Andre Carter, and Andre Carter.

Western Michigan’s Andre Carter makes a lot of sense since New England has a thang for prospects from smaller schools of late. And Andre Carter II from Army might have sentimental value to Bill Belichick since his father was a long time scout at Navy, another service academy.

As of right now, either Carter makes plenty of sense. It’s been 10 years since Belichick selected a pass rusher in the first round, and another Chandler Jones would be great, if the pick pans out.

But that’s not the direction I would go in: