Sunday, January 15, 2023

New England Patriots 2023 NFL Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, we will update our New England Patriots Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the New England Patriots from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Patriots:

CBS Sports - Stackpole (1/13)

14. Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

The Patriots could stand to bolster the offensive tackle spot with Isaiah Wynn set to become a free agent and veteran Trent Brown coming off a disappointing campaign. And even if Broderick Jones doesn't start right away, he'll add quality depth before establishing himself as a force up front. He has all the tools to succeed; he just needs to refine them.

San Diego Union Tribune - Brown (1/12)

14. Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Jonathan Jones will be a free agent and is deserving of a raise, which usually means the Patriots will let him walk. Smith was Jaycee Horn's successor and maintained Horn's excellence for the Gamecocks. So much so, quarterbacks essentially avoided him this season.

NBC Sports Chicago - Morgan (1/12)

14. Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Gonzalez plays with a confident certitude that compliments his athleticism. His ability to pivot cleanly showcases an acceleration that gains immediate upfield access when challenging pass catchers. This long-limbed defender competes tenaciously for 50/50 jump balls, with an astounding 42-inch vertical that challenges any kind of catch radius.

Yahoo! Sports - McDonald (1/11)

14. Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Jones can bring some stability to the Patriots' offensive tackle situation. He's a hard-nosed run blocker who could fit at either tackle spot in New England.

Walter Football (1/11)

14. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

The Patriots need offensive line help, but they also could stand to address their pedestrian receiving corps.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba has incredible speed and athleticism. He had a huge 2021 campaign, which included a terrific Rose Bowl performance.

CBS Sports - Trapasso (1/11)

14. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Hunter Henry has been a favorite target of Mac Jones, but that shouldn't stop Bill Belichick from targeting Mayer in Round 1. Mayer is such a talented receiving weapon at tight end.

USA Today - MMS (1/10)

14. Jordan Addison, WR, USC

New England's offensive woes won't be resolved merely by the arrival of one figure, be it a coach or a player, and Belichick's historical aversion to first-round receivers should be noted. But leading receiver Jakobi Meyers is poised to be a free agent, and it's unclear how much can be expected of second-rounder Tyquan Thornton in Year 2. At 6-0 and 175 pounds, Addison doesn't look the part of a first-round pass catcher, but his savvy working every level of the field could help him catch Belichick's eye.

Bleacher Report (1/9)

14. Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

The New England Patriots made significant investments in their passing game over the last two years, yet a former undrafted free agent remains their best threat when quarterback Mac Jones drops back.

Jakobi Meyers deserves more credit for the player he's become. Even so, the lack of production from Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne and tight end Jonnu Smith after they were big free-agent acquisitions two offseasons ago is disheartening.

Jones isn't the type of quarterback who can shoulder the offense. He needs a good supporting cast, and the Patriots don't have one. Thus, an opportunity to land the class' best tight end, who happens to be a top-10 overall talent, seems to be right up head coach Bill Belichick's alley.

"Michael Mayer is the ideal Y-tight end," Klassen stated. "Not only does the consensus All-American bring prototypical size (6'4", 265 lbs), but Mayer also is the definition of a quarterback's best friend. He is a smooth, reliable route-runner who does a great job of presenting an easy target.

"Mayer is also elite at the catch point. It's hard for defensive backs of any size to outmuscle him, and he finds a way to get his mitts on everything in his vicinity.

"As a blocker, you'd wish for a little more from someone his size, but Mayer will play just fine in New England's system. He's still got the size and strength to win many matchups. Ideally, Mayer will help simplify the team's plan and bring more to table alongside Hunter Henry than Smith has to date."

New England can designate Smith a post-June 1 release later this year and save $4.8 million from the $17.4 million balloon payment that is his 2023 salary-cap figure, per Over the Cap.

The 33rd Team (1/9)

14. Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

Carter is raw but boasts rare length (6-foot-7) and a high upside. He produced 14.5 sacks in 2021. Coach Bill Belichick has an affinity for the military academies.

PFF - Renner (1/9)

14. Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Witherspoon was the best press-man cornerback in the country last season, and quite frankly, it wasn't even close. On 113 snaps in press coverage this past fall, he allowed a grand total of one yard. That's a guy who can play cornerback for Bill Belichick.

MORE TEAMS: All NFL Team Mock Draft Roundups

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