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New England Patriots 2023 NFL Draft picks, analysis and prospect spotlight

Kansas City, MO, USA; Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New England Patriots seventeenth overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books. After a flurry of selections from Thursday to Saturday, 259 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the New England Patriots draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2023 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2023 NFL Draft Picks

R1 (17): CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
R2 (46): EDGE Keion White, Georgia Tech
R3 (76): S Marte Mapu, Sacramento State
R4 (107): C Jake Andrews, Troy
R4 (112): K Chad Ryland, Maryland
R4 (117): OG Sidy Sow, Eastern Washington
R5 (144): Atonio Mafi, UCLA
R6 (187): WR Kayshon Boutte, LSU
R6 (192): P Bryce Baringer, Michigan State
R6 (210) WR Demario Douglas, Liberty
R6 (214): CB Ameer Speed, Michigan State
R7 (245): CB Isaiah Bolden, Jacksonville State

Day 1: The Patriots move down to 17th overall, add a fourth-round pick and still land the second-best cornerback on the PFF big board. He has the size and speed you look for at the position and had the best season of his career after transferring to Oregon in 2022, racking up four interceptions and six pass breakups.

Day 2: White fits the mold of the defensive linemen that New England tends to look for up front — a powerful 6-foot-5, 285-pounder. White earned a 75.8 PFF pass-rush grade in his lone season as a starter for Wake Forest in 2022 after transferring from Old Dominion.

The Patriots continue to add different skill sets and body types at safety, a position they’ve had good depth at in recent years. At 221 pounds, Mapu came in at the 96th percentile among safeties in weight, and he paired that with an 85.9 PFF run-defense grade in his final season at Sacramento. He’ll likely have a role in the box with New England.

Day 3: For the second year in a row, the Patriots reach on a center, as Andrews ranked No. 237 on the consensus big board. Andrews is adept as a run blocker in zone and gap concepts but earned a 56.5 pass block grade due to a lack of anchor and lower-body strength, which showed up with a 24th-percentile vertical and 44th-percentile broad jump.

Ryland was the No. 3 kicker on the PFF big board, earning 89.0-plus kicking grades in each of the last two seasons. The below-average grade here is less of an indictment of Ryland as it is the process of trading up for a kicker in the fourth round.

Sow is one of the more experienced offensive line prospects in this class, having played over 3,500 snaps across five seasons at Eastern Michigan. He’s a big, athletic guard at 324 pounds who graded better on gap-scheme runs than zone runs in college.

New England landed a big, athletic guard in Sidy Sow in the fourth round and goes back to the well with the 6-foot-4, 339-pound Mafi here. Mafi earned an 88.3 run-blocking grade in a UCLA offense that moves lightning-fast under head coach Chip Kelly. This past season was his first as a full-time starter, perhaps signaling more growth and development ahead.

Boutte fell for many reasons — a lack of production in 2022 after lofty expectations, a very poor combine and apparent off-field concerns. However, this is a player that many analysts projected as the potential No. 1 wide receiver in the 2023 draft class before the season, and New England lands him at No. 187 overall.

The Patriots take their second specialist of the draft here with Baringer after trading up for Chad Ryland in the fourth round. Baringer's 76.4 PFF punting grade over the last two seasons ranks 26th out of 62 Power 5 punters with at least 50 punts.

Douglas is small, but he put up some impressive numbers at Liberty in 2022. He produced an 81.7 PFF grade against man coverage and averaged 2.57 yards per route run. He dropped just four of the 80 catchable passes thrown his way this past season.

Speed played six years in college, but this past season at Michigan State was the only year where he was on the field for more than 200 snaps. He saw 737 snaps for the Spartans but produced just a 57.2 PFF grade.

Bolden graded at 74.7 overall playing in the slot this past season under Deion Sanders at Jackson State.


Prospect Spotlight: Top Pick

Gonzalez has everything you could want from a top cornerback — size, speed, length, hips and ball skills. He had a breakout 2022 season after transferring to Oregon, notching four picks and six pass breakups.

Strengths, weaknesses and NFL role

Where he wins: Movement Skills

Gonzalez's combination of size, twitch and smooth hips makes it look like he's playing on “easy” mode. He rarely gets left in the dust.

What's his role? Versatile CB

On tape, Gonzalez is the most scheme and alignment versatile corner in the class. Press, off, man, zone, outside, inside – Gonzalez can do it all.

What he can improve: Playing with an edge

The only thing keeping Gonzalez from being CB1 and a top-five pick is his mentality. If you can light a little fire under him, Gonzalez will be stud in the league.

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