The New England Patriots 2023 draft grade is …
It was a whirlwind three days with the Patriots trading around the board but still making 12 selections overall. The team had an opportunity to hit a grand slam home run in this draft. Did they? The simple answer is no for several overarching reasons.
One is by omission. Two of the greatest perceived needs in the draft were clearly offensive tackle (OT) and tight end (TE). The Patriots addressed the OT position in free agency, but not very well. They needed a young tackle or preferably two, and similar to 2022, they whiffed.
Last season, they at least took an OT in the seventh round. He never saw the field. This year, they selected none. In addition, the team also failed to use even one pick on a tight end.
Since both of their current tight ends, Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are out of contract after 2023, this is a gross omission. Along with not addressing wide receiver earlier, these add up to a full-grade demerit.
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Not addressing two key positions is a major flaw. After a great first round, and an OK second, the team regressed to their norm by reaching for players higher up the board than they merited.
Since they needed help almost everywhere, the positions are not a huge issue. But doubling or tripling down on interior offensive linemen when the greater need was offensive tackle is faulty and unjustifiable.
While they improved significantly at cornerback and somewhat at the edge, they remain severely deficient at offensive tackle and tight end. This will stymie an offense that with immobile quarterbacks, Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe who require a clean pocket to function properly, if at all.
With those factors in mind, the overall grade of the 2023 draft is a C. The New England Patriots once again did not maximize their opportunities to improve.
Did the team improve? They did, but only marginally, and not as much as they could have had they selected more judiciously. With that in mind, the view from here is the Patriots are a last-place team looking up in the strong AFC East.
What grade would you give the New England Patriots 2023 draft? We’d like to hear.