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New England Patriots

New England Patriots

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text "ON THE CLOCK" for the New England Patriots during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

We’re just about six months and six mock drafts into the 2023 pre-draft process. With just under 48 hours left until teams are actually on the clock, let’s change things up a bit.

For the last two years leading up to the draft I’ve written this…thing. I’m still not quite sure what exactly it is – something between a mock draft and a big board – but people seem to have enjoyed it so it’s back for 2023.

  • What we’re going to do is look pick-by-pick at the top options and logical fits for the Patriots at each of their 11 currently assigned draft spots. That will include eight players in each spot – six right in that range, a stretch player who is expected to go higher but could fall, and a reach player who is expected to go later but they may take early.

    This big board list should be a good way to familiarize yourself with some of the potential Patriots prospects. When it comes to following the NFL Draft, part of it can be simply getting familiar with as many names as possible. Last year’s board included Tyquan Thornton, Marcus Jones, Bailey Zappe, and Andrew Stueber.

    You can also play along as a mock draft if you want. To do so, simply pick one player from each section, and at the end you’ll have your draft class. Try to limit yourself to just one stretch player, and take at least one reach player. If you want to share your mock draft on Twitter, you can tweet it at @RealAlexBarth and/or @985TheSportsHub.

  • Round 1, Pick 14

    Oct 1, 2022; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Boston College Eagles wide receiver Zay Flowers (4) runs with the ball during the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    -CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State
    -CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
    -OT Broderick Jones, Georgia
    -TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
    -EDGE Nolan Smith, Georgia
    -WR Zay Flowers, Boston College
    -OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State (stretch)
    -EDGE Myles Murphy, Clemson (reach)

    The Patriots ‘big three needs’ have been pretty well established at this point as tackle, cornerback, and wide receiver. Will they address one of those positions here, or go off the beaten path? They’ve met with all the top edge rushers in this draft.

  • Round 2, Pick 46

    ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 03: Cornerback Julius Brents #23 of the Kansas State Wildcats cannot make an interception against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second half at AT&T Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

    ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 03: Cornerback Julius Brents #23 of the Kansas State Wildcats cannot make an interception against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second half at AT&T Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

    -RB Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
    -CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
    -DE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
    -CB Julius Brents, Kansas State
    -LB Jack Campbell, Iowa
    -QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
    -TE Darnell Washington, Georgia (stretch)
    -CB DJ Turner, Michigan (reach)

    Pound-for-pound, the second round might be the best round of this draft. It’s where most of the elite cornerback class projects to go, since teams may be comfortable waiting through the first round with so much talent on the board. Is that what the Patriots do here, or do they pick up a playmaker at another spot?

  • Round 3, Pick 76

    PROVO UT- OCTOBER 15: Blake Freeland #71 of the Brigham Young Cougars blocks against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first half of their game on October 15, 2022 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

    PROVO UT- OCTOBER 15: Blake Freeland #71 of the Brigham Young Cougars blocks against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first half of their game on October 15, 2022 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

    -WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee
    -S Jartativus Martin, Illinois
    -LB Henry To’oto’o, Alabama
    -TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
    -DE Andre Carter, Army
    -OT Blake Freeland, BYU
    -WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma (stretch)
    -OT Tyler Steen, Alabama (reach)

    We’ve reached the Patriots’ third and final top 100 pick. There are a number of ways they could go here.

  • Round 4, Pick 107

    Nov 19, 2022; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Boise State Broncos safety JL Skinner (0) makes an interception and celebrates against the Wyoming Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 19, 2022; Laramie, Wyoming, USA; Boise State Broncos safety JL Skinner (0) makes an interception and celebrates against the Wyoming Cowboys during the fourth quarter at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium. Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

    -TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan
    -RB Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh
    -G Chandler Zavala, NC State
    -OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma
    -S JL Skinner, Boise State
    -WR Michael Wilson, Stanford
    -CB Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford (stretch)
    -IOL Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan (reach)

    We’re onto Day 3. This is the first of three fourth-round picks, so expect the Patriots to get aggressive with a high-risk, high-reward pick at some point in this range.

  • Round 4, Pick 117

    WACO, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 19: Running back Kendre Miller #33 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against safety Devin Lemear #20 of the Baylor Bears and safety Christian Morgan #4 of the Baylor Bears in the second quarter at McLane Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    WACO, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 19: Running back Kendre Miller #33 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against safety Devin Lemear #20 of the Baylor Bears and safety Christian Morgan #4 of the Baylor Bears in the second quarter at McLane Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    -RB Kendre Miller, TCU
    -S Jammie Robinson, Florida State
    -CB Riley Moss, Iowa
    -WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
    -TE Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
    -IOL Andrew Vorhees, USC
    -DL Karl Brooks, Bowling Green (stretch)
    -CB Corey Trice, Purdue (reach)

    Back on the clock again. A lot of high upside, projection players are on the board at this point. Given how the Patriots have favored elite Combine testers in recent years, look for them to target those players in these picks.

  • Round 4, Pick 135

    Sep 25, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive back Kei'Trel Clark (13) catches the game ending interception to win the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 25, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive back Kei’Trel Clark (13) catches the game ending interception to win the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

    -WR Charlie Jones, Purdue
    -IOL Emil Ekiyor, Alabama
    -QB Jaren Hall, BYU
    -RB DeWayne McBride, UAB
    -CB Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville
    -DL Moro Ojomo, Texas
    -OLB K.J. Henry, Clemson (stretch)
    -P Adam Korsak, Rutgers (reach)

    This is the Patriots’ final selection for about 50 picks. The board will look drastically different next time they’re on the clock. How will they close out the top portion of their draft?

  • Round 6, Pick 184

    Nov 19, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines place kicker Jake Moody (13) kicks a field goal in the second half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 19, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines place kicker Jake Moody (13) kicks a field goal in the second half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Michigan Stadium. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    -OT Warren McClendon, Georgia
    -K Jake Moody, Michigan
    -P Michael Turk, Oklahoma
    -WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan
    -CB Terell Smith, Minnesota
    -DE Habakkuk Baldonado, Pittsburgh
    -OLB Yasir Abdullah, Louisville (stretch)
    -DE/TE D.J. Johnson, Oregon (reach)

    The fifth round is typically the Patriots’ special teams round, but they don’t have a fifth-round pick this year. Could that push the kicker and/or punter picks to the sixth?

  • Round 6, Pick 187

    PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws during the first quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Rose Bowl on October 29, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 29: Dorian Thompson-Robinson #1 of the UCLA Bruins throws during the first quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Rose Bowl on October 29, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    -QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
    -RB Mo Ibrahim, Minnesota
    -TE Payne Durham, Prudue
    -WR Rakim Jarrett, Maryland
    -OT Anthony Bradford, LSU
    -DT Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina
    -S Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State (stretch)
    -IOL McClendon Curtis, Chattanooga (reach)

    Yes, it’s impossible for all eight players given at Pick 184 to all by gone by pick Pick 187. But this exercise is all about learning as many players as possible, so here’s a new group. If you’re playing along in a mock draft and want to take two from 184 and skip this group or visa versa, go ahead.

  • Round 6, Pick 192

    Sep 17, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) pressures South Florida Bulls quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 17, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) pressures South Florida Bulls quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    -LB Dee Winters, TCU
    -DE Brenton Cox, Florida
    -CB Myles Brooks, Louisiana Tech
    -OT Connor Galvin, Baylor
    -IOL Jon Gains, UCLA
    -P Bryce Baringer, Michigan State
    -S DeMarcco Hellams, Alabama (stretch)
    -WR Demario Douglas, Liberty (reach)

    Back on the clock five picks later, and with another pick around the corner as well. It feels unlikely the Patriots will make all of these bunched-up picks – don’t be surprised if at least one of these is moved in a trade at some point over the weekend.

  • Round 6, Pick 210

    Oct 30, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers defensive lineman Dante Stills (55) celebrates after sacking Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during the fourth quarter at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 30, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers defensive lineman Dante Stills (55) celebrates after sacking Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during the fourth quarter at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

    -K Chad Ryland, Maryland
    -DT Dante Stills, West Virginia
    -Aidan O’Connell, Purdue
    -S Trey Dean, Florida
    -WR Justin Shorter, Florida
    -TE Brayden Willis, Oklahoma
    -RB Chris Rodriguez, Kentucky (stretch)
    -WR Matt Landers, Arkansas (reach)

    Wrapping up the run of sixth-round picks. At this point in the draft, it feels like the Patriots could lean heavily into their Shrine Bowl experience.

  • Round 7, Pick 245

    Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Arkansas offensive lineman Dalton Wagner (OL48) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 5, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Arkansas offensive lineman Dalton Wagner (OL48) during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    -S Gervarrius Owens, Houston
    -WR Jadon Haselwood, Arkansas
    -QB Malik Cunningham, Louisville
    -LB Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt
    -LB Tyrus Wheat, Mississippi State
    -OT Dalton Wagner, Arkansas
    -LB Mo Diabate, Utah (stretch)
    -CB Nic Jones, Ball State (reach)

    Final pick of the draft. This is the selection the Patriots got from the Falcons for Jonnu Smith.

  • UDFAs

    CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 17: Joseph Ngata #10 of the Clemson Tigers makes a catch against Myles Brooks #13 of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half of their game at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 17: Joseph Ngata #10 of the Clemson Tigers makes a catch against Myles Brooks #13 of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs during the first half of their game at Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    -DE Truman Jones, Harvard
    -K Harrison Mevis, Missouri
    -TE Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest
    -LB Isaiah Moore, NC State
    -DE Caleb Murphy, Ferris State
    -WR Joseph Ngata, Clemson
    -S Christian Izien, Rutgers
    -CB Stephon Gilmore, Marshall
    -QB Holton Ahlers, East Carolina
    -Emari Demercado, TCU
    -Luke Haggard, Indiana

    Even leading into the draft, I usually get people asking me who I think the top UDFAs will be. It’s always tough to say before players get drafted, but here are some I project to be available that the Patriots could target. If you’re playing along as a mock draft, select one offensive and one defensive player to round out your class.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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