Patriots 2023 NFL Draft Grades For Every Pick

The New England Patriots walked away from the 2023 NFL Draft with 12 new players on their roster.

They made one pick in each of the first three rounds before having a busy Day 3, making nine selections over the final four rounds.

Let’s get right to our thoughts on each pick the Patriots made before giving an overall grade for their 2023 NFL Draft haul!

New England Patriots 2023 NFL Draft Grades

Round 1, Pick 17: CB Christian Gonzalez (Oregon)

Grade: A+

As I detailed on Thursday night, this was a home run pick for the Patriots. They traded down from the 14th overall pick in the draft, adding a fourth-round pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers in the process, and still managed to land a consensus top-10 player in this draft with the 17th overall pick.

Christian Gonzalez gives the Patriots what they’ve lacked at the cornerback position in recent years. He’s athletic and physically big, which could potentially allow him to match up well with some of the game’s best receivers.

Oregon CB Christian Gonzalez is headed to the Patriots as the No. 17 pick in the #NFLDraft

— ESPN (@espn) April 28, 2023

Round 2, Pick 46: EDGE Keion White (Georgia Tech)

Grade: B+

Keion White is a talented, but raw player. He didn’t begin playing defensive end on a full-time basis until 2019 when he was still with Old Dominion. The pandemic and an ankle injury cost White most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons before he racked up seven sacks in 2022 with Georgia Tech, which also happened to be his first full season in three years.

At 6-foot-4, White certainly has the potential to be an incredibly productive defensive lineman in the NFL. The only knocks on this pick are that he’s a five-technique player, meaning he’s more in the Deatrich Wise Jr. mold rather than the Matthew Judon or Josh Uche mold, and that they passed on a fair amount of offensive talent to pick White at a spot that wasn’t a huge need for them.

Georgia EDGE Keion White goes to New England at No. 46

— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 29, 2023

Round 3, Pick 77: S/LB Marte Mapu (Sacramento State)

Grade: B-

Marte Mapu is an enticing player that many scouts and draft evaluators fell in love with in the months leading up to the draft due to his tape. Mapu certainly feels like insurance for Kyle Dugger and/or Adrian Phillips if one of them gets hurt or leaves in free agency in 2024. Mapu is a bit more of a developmental prospect, so he shouldn’t be expected to have a huge impact in 2023, especially since he’s coming off a torn pec.

Even if Mapu is ready to play, it is reasonable to question if his tape playing against FCS opponents in college can translate to the NFL. Similar to White, this pick also meant the Patriots didn’t address their 26th-ranked offense from last season again, bypassing some talented offensive players such as Josh Downs, Darnell Washington, and more.

Mapu brings the boom @SacHornetsFB | #ForeverNE


— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 29, 2023

Round 4, Pick 107: C Jake Andrews (Troy)

Grade: C-

Getting a backup center in this draft certainly isn’t a bad idea, as David Andrews is getting older and dealt with a pair of injuries last season. But getting one this early and bypassing Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones, who could’ve helped an unimpressive offensive tackle group for the Patriots, felt like the wrong decision here.

Round 4, Pick 112: K Chad Ryland (Maryland)

Grade: C

Drafting a kicker in the fourth round is always going to feel like a reach. But the San Francisco 49ers selected a kicker at the end of the third round, suggesting that teams in the league might have valued kickers more than usual in this draft.

It wasn’t a bad idea for the Patriots to add a kicker in this draft, though. Nick Folk showed his age in the latter half of the season, and Chad Ryland was nearly as automatic as Folk used to be within 50 yards during his time in college.

53-yard FG
52-yard FG

Chad Ryland has now hit 23 straight FGs. @C_Ryland38 x @TerpsFootball

— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) September 24, 2022

Round 4, Pick 117: G Sidy Sow (Eastern Michigan)

Grade: B+

Sidy Sow was reliable and consistent during his time at Eastern Michigan, setting school records for games played and starts. He also earned a pair of All-MAC first-team nods, as the Olympic weightlifting he practiced in high school helped him become a strong run blocker.

Round 5, Pick 144: G Antonio Mafi (UCLA)

Grade: C-

Adding a third interior offensive lineman this early on Day 3 felt a little head-scratching, especially another one that was mostly praised for his run-blocking ability. UCLA’s other guard, Jon Gaines II, would have been a much better pick, as he has history on his side, but he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals between this pick and the Sow pick.

Round 6, Pick 187: WR Kayshon Boutte (LSU)

Grade: A

The Patriots taking a chance on a high-upside player this late in the draft is always going to be worth it. Kayshon Boutte had nine touchdowns in six games in 2021 before fracturing his ankle. Some issues recovering from that injury and a poor combine caused his stock to crater, but he could be a very good slot receiver in New England if everything comes together for him.


— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 3, 2022

Round 6, Pick 192: P Bryce Baringer (Michigan State)

Grade: A

Many draft evaluators had Bryce Baringer as the best punter in the draft, and the Patriots had a need at the position. So, in a draft as weak as this one, sure, why not draft a punter with a sixth-round pick?

Round 6, Pick 210: WR Demario Douglas (Liberty)

Grade: B+

Demario Davis is speedy (4.44 40-yard dash), but short (5-foot-8). He was productive this past season, recording 993 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns, as some scouts said he was a smaller Zay Flowers. Davis also returned two punts for a touchdown during his collegiate career, but that was canceled out by six muffs/fumbles while returning kicks.

Round 6, Pick 214: CB Ameer Speed (Michigan State)

Grade: B-

A likely special teamer, Ameer Speed is 6-foot-3 and has an appropriate last name with a 4.33 40-yard dash. He didn’t latch on at Georgia though, transferring to Michigan State, where he recorded over 500 special teams stats.

Round 7, Pick 245: CB Isaiah Bolden (Jackson State)

Grade: B

Another likely special teamer. Isaiah Bolden has similar traits to Speed, running a 4.33 40-yard dash while standing at 6-foot-2. He averaged 36.9 yards per kick return and had two kick return touchdowns in 2021.

Couldn’t find any defensive tape on Isaiah Bolden, but he’s a big corner with excellent athleticism

Dominated as a kick returner his junior season, leading the nation with a 36.9 yard average and scoring twice

— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) April 19, 2023

Overall grade: B

All in all, the Patriots had a fine draft. They got two guys who’ve got the potential to be studs on defense for years to come with their top two picks.

After that? It’s not highly impressive. They ignored their two big areas of need on offense (wide receiver and offensive tackle) in the first five rounds, as Mac Jones certainly could use the help. They also took some chances on players that could pay off, but also might not be worth the capital they used to draft them (namely Ryland).

But this draft will ultimately be defined by how Gonzalez and White play. If both of them are defensive cornerstones for years to come, this draft was a success. If Ryland contributes like the last fourth-round kicker the Patriots drafted (Stephen Gostkowski) and Boutte is able to match some of his pre-2022 hype, that would certainly lift the grade for this class to at least an A-minus. If any of the interior offensive linemen they selected are also able to contribute, it could be even higher.

The post Patriots 2023 NFL Draft Grades For Every Pick appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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