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New England Patriots Draft Picks 2023 – Christian Gonzalez goes to New England

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The New England Patriots have not made it further than the Wild Card game since 2018 and it is about the time the team gets back to the glory days. The 2023 NBA Draft will not be the turning point but it definitely will add some talent to the Patriots roster. The Patriots came into the draft with eight picks and earned another one after they dealt the right on the 14th pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for pick no. 17.

Patriots Draft Picks 2023

The Patriots need a huge boost in the offseason to bounce back after having a couple of mediocre seasons for their standards. They have plenty of picks and the plan is to use them to select players that can help the team immediately.

First-round pick (17th): Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

The Patriots had an exceptional Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. They came into the draft with a need of a cornerback and got that solved by drafting Christian Gonzalez from the University of Oregon. Gonzalez was the one the Patriots hoped to have a chance of grabbing and not that they did that, they managed to swap their 14th pick for the 17th and still have Gonzalez waiting there. The 20-year-old was projected to be a top 10 pick and the Patriots were really lucky to land him in New England.

At 6-foot-1, 197 pounds and with outstanding athletic abilities, Gonzalez is a perfect fit for the Patriots’ defensive scheme. He projected to be a started from Day 1 on the outside, allowing the team to handle the business on the weakest position on their roster.

Last season, Gonzalez was named in the All-Pac-12 team having four interceptions and seven passes defensed. He was outstanding at the NFL Draft combine running a 4.38 40-yard dash, posting a 41½-inch vertical leap and broad jumping 11 feet, 1 inch. Gonzalez gives an excellent value from a 17th pick and will help the Patriots on the corner. The ACF East division is packed with high-quality quarterbacks and Gonzalez will give the Patriots another option to respond. He will line up primarily on the perimeter in New England’s scheme and if he adapts fast, he will be a valuable asset when the season begins.

Second-round pick (46th): Keion White, Edge, Georgia Tech

White is another success story being going from being a three-star recruit all the way to becoming a draft pick for the New England Patriots. He is a redshirt senior coming from Georgia Tech. He is 6-foot-5, 286 pounds edge, who started his career at Old Dominion as a tight end, starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2018 (11-124-11.3 receiving). The following season, he switched to defensive which went quite well, as he tied the school-record with 19 tackles for loss (3.5 sacks) among his 62 tackles in 12 starts. The following season was not as successful for the second-team All-Conference USA and after Old Dominion decided not to play that fall due to COVID-19, White transferred to Georgia Tech for 2021. He made four tackles in four games after missing the start of the year due to injury. White came up big in his final season with the Yellow Jackets, earning third-team All-ACC notice by leading the Yellow Jackets with 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks among his 54 total stops in 12 starts.

Third-round pick (76th from Carolina): Marte Mapu, S, Sacramento State

Mapu is a former no-star recruit who spent 6 years on college. Mapu earned second-team All-Big Sky Conference accolades in 2021 after leading Sacramento State with four interceptions and 10 pass breakups, also posting 65 tackles, 5.5 for loss in 12 starts. He was a first-team Associated Press FCS All-American and the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2022, filling the stat sheet in 13 starts (76 tackles, 6.5 for loss, two interceptions, four pass breakups, one blocked kick).

Fourth-round pick (107th from LA Rams): Jake Andrews, G, Troy

Andrews cannot be listed as a gifted athlete given the NFL standards but with his football intelligence and approach to the game he can become a solid player in the big league.

Fourth-round pick (112th from New York Jets): Chad Ryland, K, Maryland

Ryland transferred to Marylan from Eastern Michigan and connected on 80% of his kicks last season. Connected on over 50% of his field goals from 50+ yards throughout his college career.

Fourth-round pick (117th): Sidy Sow, OL, Eastern Michigan

Sow spent 6 years at college and in his last one at Eastern Michigan, he showed up in 12 games, allowing 13 QB hurries, three QB hits, and two sacks. He is explosive at the point and knocks defenders from the line, opening up running lanes.

Fifth-round pick (144th): Atonio Mafy, OL, UCLA

Mafy is a former defensive lineman with excellent size and upside. He quickly took to the offensive line and possesses the NFL size and a lot of potential.

Sixth-round pick (187th from Carolina): Keishon Boutte, WR, LSU

Boutte has not been very consistent but when he plays well, he shows explosive acceleration, apparent straight-line speed, and movement skills that demonstrate agility and twitchiness.

Sixth-round pick (192nd): Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State

Baringer has the necessary athleticism for the big league and engages receivers at the line of scrimmage and slows their release off the snap. He loves to get physical and mixes it up throughout the route. He is very active and fires up the field to defend the run, squares and wraps up tackling.

Sixth-round pick (210th): Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty

Douglas has no size for the NFL but he is an explosive receiver with a reliable game. He was virtually impossible to cover during three days of Shrine Bowl practice, then went on to have a terrific combine workout.

Sixth-round pick (214th): Ameer Speed, CB, Michigan State

Speed has the level size and is fast enough for the NFL, but he is very unpolished. His ball skills need a lot of work, yet his tenacity and willingness to defend the run, coupled with his athletic numbers, could make him a nice zone safety.

Seventh-round pick (245th from Buffalo via Atlanta): Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State

Bolden has the skills to face NFL receivers. He will have the confidence and attitude to match up with the other team’s best receiver.

Patriots Draft Grade: A-

Gonzalez is not the best player on the draft, but we have to give A for Patriots grabbing such a young talent that late in the first round. Not many teams would get a player who can help from the first day and Gozalez seems like he is ready to go with the pros despite being only 20 years old. The fact is that they could have done a better job in the next two rounds but anyway, Gonzalez is a player they can be excited about.

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About the author

Marko Mitevski

Marko is a former athlete who meanwhile got his law degree. He has followed basketball since the ‘90s and is very familiar with all levels of the game, from the NBA, and the NCAA, all down to European leagues and international competitions.