New England Patriots shore up the team’s defensive backfield
After bolstering several positions of need on offense and adding a possible Pro Bowl-caliber defensive end, the New England Patriots turn to the defensive backfield with their next couple of picks. First, at pick N0. 117 is Carrington Valentine, a corner from Kentucky.
Valentine appeared in the last Patriots Mock Draft 2.0, as well. He’s 6’0″ tall and weighs 193 pounds.
Having flopped on a number of second-round cornerbacks in the recent past, the Patriots used better discretion and drafted cornerbacks well in the third and fourth rounds last year.
The team brought in the diminutive but dynamic Marcus Jones, and his namesake, the slight but very effective Jack Jones. The Patriots will be seeking to replicate that success with Valentine in the fourth round in 2023.
As Nfl.com notes, Valentine will be more effective in “press/bail coverages”. Should the Patriots use that scheme, he should be a nice depth piece.
Patriots select Trey Dean at No. 125
Next up is a big safety, Trey Dean from Florida. With the retirement of long-time stalwart, Devin McCourty, the team needs to add pieces to the puzzle at safety.
Jalen Mills will likely get the nod as a starter, and Dean can provide depth. He’s a big safety at 6’2″ tall weighing 200 pounds. Dean is more of a box safety with pedestrian speed but in the box, he has the size to tangle with tight ends. As a depth piece, let’s see what he can do.