2023 NFL Draft position analysis: Patriots wide receiver fits vs. draft wishes

Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo (1) races up the field with a 71 yard touchdown pass past Vanderbilt.Nas Vanderbilt Miss 053
Mississippi wide receiver Jonathan Mingo (1) races up the field with a 71 yard touchdown pass past Vanderbilt.Nas Vanderbilt Miss 053 /
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I don’t want the New England Patriots to draft a receiver in the first round. Heck, I don’t want them to draft a receiver in the first two rounds. The need for a starter at cornerback and offensive tackle is too great to delay in favor of a flashy selection.

So if it’s not a combination of Devon Witherspoon and Anton Harrison or Broderick Jones and Emmanuel Forbes, then I would be disappointed by the Patriots.

The problem with the Patriots offense wasn’t talent, it was coaching. New England addressed the coaching problem by replacing Matt Patricia with Bill O’Brien, an actual offensive coordinator.

And through free agency the Patriots have upgraded the roster at some positions. Even if you love Jakobi Meyers, you have to admit that JuJu Smith-Schuster is an upgrade. They added two offensive tackles and signed two special teams specialists. The latter is critical since the Patriots allowed three kickoff return touchdowns and a blocked punt last season.

Patriots could get DeAndre Hopkins as their price. light. Hot

Trading a pick for Jerry Jeudy or DeAndre Hopkins I’m not opposed to, but it has to be a favorable deal for the Patriots. But making one of these deals isn’t necessary. The receiving corps, when healthy, is pretty strong.

That being said, the Patriots should add another receiver though the draft.

Patriots can find some very appealing receivers available in the third round and later

DeVante Parker, Kendrick Bourne and Smith-Schuster on the field simultaneously sounds pretty dangerous. Tyquan Thornton is an immense talent in need of the right developing. And Ty Montgomery is a versatile weapon, if he makes a full recovery.

But there’s always the possibility of making the group better. The Patriots waived Kristian “two touchdowns” Wilkerson after the 2022 season. And Tre Nixon is in a make it or break it season. He briefly stood out during training camp last season, but was unremarkable in preseason games. If Nixon doesn’t challenge to make the roster, it might be time to move on.

It’s a deep receiver pool in this year’s draft. When you whittle the prospects down to those that fit the Patriots’ system, the options are dramatically less.

While we think we know the kind of receivers New England look for, I strongly believe in the prospects that would be great for the Patriots. I have an idea of three receivers the Patriots would have high on their board. But I also have three wide outs to suggest to New England instead of those receivers. All prospects are projected to be selected in the third round or later: