Re-Grading the Patriots' 2023 Draft Class After Rookie Seasons

How did New England's rookies perform last year? Here's a look at how the Patriots' 2023 draft class is re-graded following Year 1.
Re-grading the Patriots' 2023 draft class.
Re-grading the Patriots' 2023 draft class. / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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K Chad Ryland (4, Pick 112): D-

For the Patriots' second pick of Round 4, the Bill Belichick-led management decided to draft kicker Chad Ryland out of Maryland. New England didn't have much faith in Nick Folk's veteran leg anymore, instead opting to replace him with the second-team All-Big Ten leg.

From an extra-point perspective, Ryland was near-flawless, connecting on 24 of his 25 attempts (96%). Unfortunately, he didn't have nearly as much success on his field goals. He finished his rookie campaign with a putrid 64.0 FG% (16-for-25), which included going a concerning 7-for-14 (50%) from the 40-yard line and beyond.

When it comes to NFL success, having a reliable kicker is important and the Patriots know this after having Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski from 1996 to 2019. It wouldn't be surprising if New England looked for another kicker through the draft to challenge Ryland at training camp this summer.

OL Sidy Sow (4, Pick 117): C+

Normally, fourth-round picks take a few years before they're put into a starting role. That wasn't the case for Sidy Sow as the former Eastern Michigan blocker was thrown into fire due to injuries plaguing New England's offensive line throughout the season.

For the most part, Sow handled his duties well. Spending time as a guard and tackle, the 25-year-old only surrendered 27 pressures (18 hurries, 5 sacks, 4 hits) on 486 passing downs and even tallied a promising 71.3 grade as a run blocker. His 64.4 overall grade was also 27th-best among 79 eligible guards.

Ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft, Sow currently projects to be the Patriots starting right guard this fall. Time will tell if the Bromont, QC native is up to the task.