The New England Patriots 2023 alternative draft
In the first round, the Patriots selected Christian Gonzalez, a top cornerback after a trade-down to No. 17 from 14. with four top offensive tackles off the board, the pick of Christian Gonzalez makes perfect sense.
He’s the best player available and meets a definite need of the Patriots at cornerback. The pick received a straight A here and why not stay with a good thing? Gonzalez is the choice.
In the second round, things get a bit more interesting. Edge was cited as a need and a specific edge, Lukas van Ness of Iowa was a favorite here. The Green Bay Packers agreed and took him off the table with the 13th pick overall.
The Patriots liked the position, as well, and selected Keion White, an edge from Georgia Tech at pick No. 46. At 46, the alternative draft goes in a different direction, selecting an offensive tackle. We select Tyler Steen, an offensive left tackle from Alabama.
A trade-down to still get Steen and another pick or two was possible here but since we’re going with the actual flow of the draft, we’ll reach a bit for a position of absolute and unquestioned need.
Steen was placed at the all-important offensive left tackle spot by Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and his then-offensive coordinator and now Patriots’ OC, Bill O’Brien. Those considerations help warrant the slight reach.