With the No. 107 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Patriots select:
Changes came to the New England Patriots tight end group as Jonnu Smith was traded and Mike Gesicki was paired with Hunter Henry. While these are welcomed changes, New England still needs an addition for the future. Luke Schoonmaker addresses that need, and more.
Gesicki signed a one-year deal and Henry’s contract expires after the 2023 season. Matt Sokol is a developmental reserve, so clearly the Patriots need to add talent to the position.
Landing on common ground for this selection isn’t a guarantee. A gut feeling believes Belichick would love to getGeorgia’s Darnell Washington, but that would require using a second round selection on the 6-7 270-pound Bulldog. Maybe Belichick does, or maybe he trades up for Washington. Trading up for a tight end is nothing new for Belichick.
I also believe that South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft is attractive to Belichick. But again, it would require drafting Kraft sooner than the fourth round.
Don’t view Schoonmaker as a tight end consolation prize, though. He’s a very good athlete with the reputation for being a solid blocker. That skill would get Schoonmaker on the field soon, as Gisicki and Henry usually struggle as blockers.
Once Schoonmaker earns the trust of the coaches and QBs, he’s a nice, big target with his 6-5 250-pound frame. And he has good speed, so he can gain yards after the catch. But he’s not a strong runner, so don’t expect a lot of broken tackles.
Schoonmaker would be the fifth year in a row the New England Patriots select a Michigan player. He might not be the only one, with kicker Jake Moody a real possibility. But I believe the next Wolverine will be…