Shortly, the New England Patriots will be on the clock in the 2023 NFL draft, and all the waiting, speculating, mock drafts, and lofty expectations will come to a head.
One thing is certain with New England Patriots drafts, they’re never dull. Their modus operandi has been to trade up, trade down, and move any which way but usually the right way.
The Patriots’ draft strategy hardly ever fails to surprise, befuddle, and confound both NFL draft experts and their fandom for the wrong reasons as they usually go their own way and flop.
It’s been said before in the space, however, that hope springs eternal amongst Patriot Nation for a really good draft, a sensible draft, and one that won’t leave Patriot Nation shaking their heads in bewilderment. There are suggestions around.
For fans, just don’t expect very much and you’re not likely to walk away from the three-day extravaganza with your head spinning over the Patriots’ strategy or lack thereof.
New England Patriots have to get the 2023 draft right
With that negativity out of the way for now, what must the Patriots do and avoid to get it right in the 2023 draft?
First, they have an ace up their sleeve. What’s that? They can’t botch the draft by taking really any position on the field. That’s a good thing. Too often they’ll select players at position(s) early on that leaves their fans scratching their heads.
For example, even taking a running back early can’t really be looked upon askance. Damian Harris has left and there’s a spot open.
Not having that to worry about is a good place to be. Yet, the real place where the rubber will meet the proverbial road is in how they draft, and whom.
The how is whether or not they reach for players far earlier than anyone else thinks they warrant selection. This is a particularly onerous trait of the Patriots under the tutelage of de facto general manager Bill Belichick.
The presence of Tom Brady covered up a magnitude of faults in personnel management for two decades. That comforting blanket is now long-gone. Belichick and Co. are on their own and the results have been middling, mediocrity.
What do the New England Patriots have to do to have a successful draft
It’s not rocket science. All the New England Patriots have to do to enhance their chances for success is draft according to accepted NFL norms. That means no picks that make you a laughingstock in the league. It’s been called here, a “consensus” draft approach.
Simply stated it means don’t go outside the realm of what most draft observers and knowledgeable people would do for your picks.
Want your voice heard? Join the Chowder And Champions team!
Yet, simply adopting a consensus approach for once doesn’t guarantee a great draft. Nothing does. “It’s all a big crapshoot anyhoo”, as Ned Ryerson said in the movie, “Groundhog Day”.
You have to accept that premise. You win some you lose some in the draft. It’s the nature of the beast. Yet, don’t multiply your opportunities for failure by reaching or taking unknown players early on.
Staying within the boundaries and selecting players where they should be selected gives you the best opportunity for success. It also minimizes the possibility of gross failure.
Reaching too early for players that may have caught your eye will lead you down a primrose path to disaster. Last year’s first two picks were huge reaches. They played like it.
Also, the opportunity cost of reaches is that you could have drafted potentially better players earlier and still maybe have gotten the ones you took earlier later on.
The advice is this, draft sensibly, in a consensus fashion, don’t reach, and resist the temptation to act as though you know more than everyone else.
History has proven otherwise. It’s time to get it right.