The 2023 NFL Draft is fast approaching, and even after several weeks of free agency, the New England Patriots still have plenty of holes to fill on their roster.
Some of their top needs include wide receiver, offensive tackle, tight end, edge rusher and cornerback.
Luckily for the Patriots, they have 11 picks in the upcoming draft. It remains to be seen whether the Patriots use all of these selections, but having more than 10 allows them to package a few together and move up in a certain round if the right deal comes along.
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Their first pick is No. 14 overall. It's actually New England's highest pick since 2008 when the franchise selected linebacker Jerod Mayo at No. 10 overall.
Pro Football Focus recently published a new three-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft for all 32 teams. Here are their projections for the Patriots:
- Round 1: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
- Round 2: EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
- Round 3: WR Nathaniel Dell, Houston
Porter has been a popular pick for the Patriots in mock drafts over the last few months. He had a tremendous 2022 season at Penn State with 27 total tackles, 11 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. He didn't allow a single touchdown in coverage, either.
Cornerback is a critically important position in the modern NFL, and it's a position where the Patriots have to add more depth and high-end talent.
Another intriguing option at cornerback is Illinois star Devon Witherspoon. Not only is Witherspoon good in coverage, he makes his presence felt with huge hits.
Porter or Witherspoon would be an excellent pick for the Patriots in the first round. Head coach Bill Belichick has a strong track record of finding good offensive linemen in the middle to later rounds, so it wouldn't be the worst thing if the Patriots wait and pick up an offensive tackle on Day 2.
Cornerback or wide receiver makes the most sense in Round 1 from the Patriots' perspective. It's hard to win without premium players at those positions.