The Patriots went into the 2023 offseason with major holes at three positions: offensive tackle, wide receiver, and cornerback.
Despite not making a major splash (yet), they’ve improved at all three spots since the new league year began. Jonathan Jones is returning at cornerback, JuJu Smith-Schuster will replace Jakobi Meyers at slot receiver, and Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson will add much-needed depth at the tackle position.
While another move could be imminent, a majority of New England’s next transactions will come in April’s draft. They’re most likely to take a shot at offensive tackle with their first pick according to our exclusive wagering partners at FanDuel Sportsbook. Here are the odds:
Position of First Player Drafted
Offensive Tackle +210
Wide Receiver +300
Defensive Lineman +850
Tight End +1900
Running Back +3400
If you look at the trend, the Patriots have filled the quote-unquote “biggest hole” on their roster through the first round in each of the last two NFL drafts. 2021 was quarterback with Mac Jones and 2022 was guard with Cole Strange.
Despite already addressing each of the top three holes mentioned above, cornerback remains New England’s largest. They re-signed Jon Jones, but they also cut Jalen Mills, leaving their length at the position suspect to say the least. Here’s a look at the heights of their expected corner rotation heading into 2023 (h/t Alex Barth):
- Jonathan Jones 5’10”
- Jack Jones 5’11”
- Marcus Jones: 5’8″
- Myles Bryant: 5’9″
They could wait on a corner, as it’s one of the deepest positions in the class, but the top three prospects in Christian Gonzalez, Devon Witherspoon, and Joey Porter Jr. are the ones that are true franchise changers. Each is over 6’0″ tall and has the skill set to be a true lockdown boundary cornerback from day one.
Going off of how Matt Groh’s has operated since he took over the Patriots’ draft department in addressing the biggest need, it feels likely that they’ll add a cornerback with their first pick in the draft.
The Pick: Cornerback +380
Make sure to follow Mike on Twitter @mikekadlick, and follow @PatriotsCLNS for the latest up-to-date Patriots news!
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