3 first round mistakes the Patriots cannot afford to make

Patriots, Bill Belichick

Patriots, Bill Belichick (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick and the Patriots haven’t been quite sure about the direction of the franchise, but they better figure it out before the 2023 NFL Draft 

Just where are the New England Patriots headed, right now? What does 2023 and beyond look like for the organization?

We’ve seen rumors of Bill Belichick and the front office moving on from Mac Jones, seeing what they could get in a trade for the former first-round pick. Where would that leave the team? Do they draft a quarterback, then?

It would seem a bit hasty, especially because the Patriots have some very clear-cut needs within this roster, still.

Heading into the draft next week, New England needs to try and clarify their goals and ideal short-term plans before they make a big mistake, especially in the first round.

First round mistakes the Patriots cannot afford to make in the 2023 NFL Draft: Trading back if value is there

The Patriots enter this year’s draft with three clear needs: wide receiver, cornerback and offensive tackle. New England isn’t close to contending, especially with the possibility of moving on from their first-round quarterback, from just two years ago, in Jones.

If at pick 14, the Patriots still see several players on the board they like and are worthy of that selection, then Belichick and Robert Kraft have to work tirelessly to try and move back a few picks.

Players on the board who would make this well-worth moving back: Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston, Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. and Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison.

If the Patriots can move back a few spots, still end up with one of those players while adding extra draft capital, it’s a move you can’t refuse to make. The 14th pick is a very, very intriguing spot to be in, because with the Patriots’ needs, there will be a lot of talent available.

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