New England Patriots 2023 NFL Draft: Picks, team needs and predictions

AFC Championship - Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots
Owner Robert Kraft (L) and Coach Bill Belichick (R) of the New England Patriots

The New England Patriots find themselves in the middle of the pack in the 2023 NFL draft. It is something of an unfamiliar position for them, having gone many years during the Tom Brady era when they always picked towards the end of the first round.

The 2023 NFL draft gives the Patriots a chance to ensure that they build a competitive team so that they can re-enter the playoffs, having missed out on it last season. To do so, they would need to address their needs in the correct order and hope they can unearth another Tom Brady-esque steal in the later rounds.

New England Patriots' 2023 NFL draft picks

As things currently stand, the NFL England Patriots NFL Draft 2023 picks are as follows:

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  • Round 1, Pick 14
  • Round 2, Pick 46
  • Round 3, Pick 76 (From CAR)
  • Round 4, Pick 107 (from LA Rams)
  • Round 4, Pick 117
  • Round 4, Pick 135*
  • Round 6, Pick 184 (From LV)
  • Round 6, Pick 187 (From CAR)
  • Round 6, Pick 192
  • Round 6, Pick 210*
  • Round 7, Pick 245 (From BUF via ATL)

The Patriots are stacked with draft picks this year, thanks to trades and compensatory picks. They could even choose to trade some of them to climb up in the draft, if needed. However, at the moment, we are considering the situation as it currently stands.

New England Patriots' 2023 NFL draft needs

The most obvious place where the New England Patriots need to start the NFL Draft 2023 is at offensive tackle. Mac Jones is not the most mobile quarterback and needs protection. Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn had to miss time last year, which created a lot of issues in pass protection.

Moving on from that, they would need to add some depth to the cornerback position as that is also an area of concern. Finally, a wide receiver would not go amiss as they look to add offensive weapons.

Here is a list of their biggest needs:

  1. Offensive Tackle
  2. Cornerback
  3. Wide Receiver
  4. Defensive End
  5. Inside Linebacker
  6. Outside Linebacker

New England Patriots' 2023 NFL draft predictions

Here's how the draft might go for the Patriots as it stands.

Round 1, Pick 14: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Darnell Wright at the NFL Combine
Darnell Wright at the NFL Combine

At 6'5" and 333 lbs, Darnell Wright takes no prisoners. He has experience playing against top level competition and has the potential to become a starter early on. Another factor that works for him is his versatility as he played both right and left tackle in college. Bill Belichick is known for his preference for versatile players and Wright checks all the boxes.

Round 2, Pick 46: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Kelee Ringo at the NFL Combine
Kelee Ringo at the NFL Combine

Kelee Ringo finished last season with 2 interceptions, 3 pass deflections and 33 tackles. He ran a 4.36 second 40-yard dash and his speed and athleticism comes from his time as a champion sprinter in school. At 6'2" and 207 lbs, he has good instincts playing in that position and can only develop under the tutelage of Belichick.

Round 3, Pick 76: Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss

Jonathan Mingo at the NFL Combine
Jonathan Mingo at the NFL Combine

Jonathan Mingo should be a good fit at this stage. He had 51 receptions for 861 yards and 5 touchdowns last season. At 6'2" and 225 lbs, he has the ability to physically outpower the opposing defender. He has a strong run after a catch and under the right coaching has the capacity to learn the routes to succeed. The Patriots are reported to be interested in him.

Round 4, Pick 107: YaYa Diaby, DE, Louisville

A versatile pass rusher out of Louisville, YaYa Diaby possesses natural strength and discipline to succeed in the role. Starting at Georgia Military College, he seems to be the kind of player that Bill Belichick loves.

Round 4, Pick 117: Zach Harrison, DE, Ohio State

While it is unlikely that the New England Patriots will go back-to-back with edge rushers, given the number of picks they have, we are willing to mix it up here. Zach Harrison is a great choice here and was a five-star recruit out of high school. He has underachieved in college but the potential is there.

Round 4, Pick 135: Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas

If Bill Belichick loves one thing, it is versatility. Ricky Stromberg brings it in abundance, being able to play both center and offensive guard. He has the ability to plug in holes across the line when required.

Round 6, Pick 184: Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati

At 5'9", he does not have the size of a big wide receiver. But Tre Tucker is explosive in abundance. He is good at generating separation and has a safe pair of hands. He could be a steal at this late stage.

Round 6, Pick 187: Jack Coletto, RB, Oregon State

Jack Coletto is the Paul Hornung award winner, which is given to the most versatile player in college football. He can play running back, full back, wide receiver and even a quarterback. He is the perfect fit for Bill Belichick's team.

Round 6, Pick 192: Juice Scruggs, OL, Penn State

Juice Scruggs could be a good pick at this late stage. He is not brilliant in any area but is a solid player. He can play both center and guard and can be another plug-and-play player when needed.

Round 6, Pick 210: Shaka Heyward, LB, Duke

Shaka Heyward is good in zone coverage in the backfield and can also play as a pass rusher. While not an elite linebacker, he can be used in different ways and his strengths can be developed.

Round 7, Pick 245: Daniel Scott, S, California

If Daniel Scott was younger, he would be expected to go off the board much sooner. At 25, he is among the older players and his ceiling is pretty much set. He has good range and speed and can lend maturity to the playing group and can be valuable to special teams as well.

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