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
New England Patriots QB Mac Jones. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

A way too early projection

So let me be a bit of a hypocrite and project a first round selection for the New England Patriots in 2023.

I firmly disagree with the wide receiver selection. The unit has much better depth than last year. Parker should be great, Agholor looks improved, and the tease from Thornton has me excited.

A pass rusher? You can’t have enough of them in today’s league. Matt Judon was great last year, but the defense needs a bookend. I love the suggestion, but there’s a position I’m more concerned about.

As you enjoy Judon’s judo before crushing another quarterback, don’t you worry about the same thing happening to Mac Jones?

I’m not naming names, but offensive tackle would be the selection because the Patriots have to protect Jones, their franchise player.

I feel better about Trent Brown at left tackle, but his injury history is concerning. He’s signed through 2024, but that shouldn’t stop the Patriots from drafting a long-term anchor on the blind side.

Next. Patriots season opening loss just feels different. dark

Over on the right, Isaiah Wynn doesn’t seem happy being flipped from left tackle. Whether he’s disgruntled or not, Wynn’s career so far doesn’t instill confidence in his ability or his availability.

And Wynn’s contract expires in 2023. If Wynn walks, could 2022 seventh round selection Andrew Stueber become a starter by next year? That’s highly doubtful.

New England signed Marcus Cannon recently to the practice squad for much needed depth, but is he a reason for Wynn to look over his shoulder?

Belichick drafting an O-lineman in the first round two years in a row isn’t his M.O. But I correctly projected a guard as the New England Patriots 2022 first round selection. So don’t sell me short.

But again, any mock draft projections this early is just entertainment.