New England Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft

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New England Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft

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For the first time in over 20 years, the New England Patriots enter mock draft season as the AFC East’s worst team, according to betting markets. Whispers about cracks in the Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft relationship, along with questions about Mac Jones’ future with the club, have led to an interesting off-season in New England.

The Patriots currently have ten selections in the 2023 draft, and they’re notorious for moving around, often leveraging their time on the clock for future draft picks. They’re also difficult to mock because they rarely draft based on needs and keep a relatively small big board. With that said, their primary needs at this point are wide receiver and offensive tackle.

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New England Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft

Round 1 (No. 14 overall)

Pick: Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee

Darnell Wright is an ascending prospect in the lead-up to draft day, and his versatility along the line will be something that the Patriots covet. New England needs a long-term solution at tackle, with Riley Reiff on a one-year deal and Trent Brown entering the final year of his contract.

As a left tackle in the SEC last season, Wright didn’t allow a sack and limited defenders to a 1.7% pressure rate, which ranks third among all Power Five tackles.

Round 2 (No. 46 overall)

Pick: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa

The Patriots love using multiple tight ends, and with Jonnu Smith now in Atlanta, the Patriots should be looking to add one of the draft’s best in Sam LaPorta. His ability to play off the line and after-the-catch skills will certainly be appealing to a number of teams in the early second round.

Note that Bill Belichick has never shied away from drafting a Kirk Ferentz-coached prospect.

Round 3 (No. 76 overall)

Pick: Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston

It’s likely that some teams won’t even consider Nathaniel Dell due to his diminutive stature, but the Patriots will likely value his elite short-area separation skills. New England has been a safe haven for many undersized slot wideouts over the years, and Dell could be next. He posted back-to-back seasons with over 1,300 receiving yards and recorded 29 touchdown catches over the past two years at Houston.

Round 4 (No. 107 overall)

Pick: Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse

A mid-season ACL injury impacts Garrett Williams in the pre-draft process, but his skill set – especially for teams that like to run man-heavy schemes – will garner some late day 2, early day 3 attention. Williams was considered a borderline first-round selection prior to his ACL tear.

Round 4 (No. 117 overall)

Pick: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

Ivan Pace Jr. is a bit undersized but has the flexibility to defend the run and rush the passer. He’s raw as a pass rusher but was asked to take on a bigger role along the edge in 2022, and he thrived. While he’ll need to clean up the missed tackle rate, he could contribute as a situational pass rusher in Year 1.

Round 4 (No. 135 overall)

Pick: Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina

The Patriots need speed on offense, and Keaton Mitchell has that in spades. He’s likely a hybrid player at the next level, profiling as a pass-catching back or receiver more than a between-the-tackles ball carrier, but his 31 carries of 15-plus yards led all of college football in 2022.

Round 6 (No. 184 overall)

Pick: Marte Mapu, S, Sacramento State

Here’s another versatile defender that fits the Patriots’ mold. Mapu played safety at Sacramento State, but his size and play style could fit at linebacker for a team like the Patriots. At 6’3″, he also profiles as someone who can cover big slot receivers or tight ends.

Round 6 (No. 187 overall)

Pick: Clayton Tune, QB, Houston

The Patriots are always looking to add quarterback depth, regardless of their current need or situation at the position. Tune has decent size and strong college production on his resume, throwing for over 4000 yards and 40 touchdowns last season.

Round 6 (No. 192 overall)

Pick: Starling Thomas, CB, UAB

Thomas ran a blazing 4.38 40-yard dash, but he’s not just a track athlete. Thomas limited opponents to just 22 catches and 257 yards on 58 targets last season. Plus, at 6 feet tall, he has the size to play on the outside.

Round 6 (No. 210 overall)

Pick: Jordan McFadden, OG, Clemson

Jordan McFadden’s size might kick him inside to play guard at the next level, but he played two years at left tackle for Clemson. He fits a common theme for all of these Patriots picks, and that’s versatility. His height and weight profile as an interior lineman at the next level, but McFadden’s agility and speed are exceptional for his size. And he could likely hold up on the outside in case of an emergency.