For the second time in three seasons, the New England Patriots missed the playoffs. That’s just not something we are used to seeing from them during the Bill Belichick era.
So, how do the Patriots get back on the right track and make the playoffs in 2023? It starts with nailing the upcoming draft.
But which position might the Patriots target a week from tonight in Round 1? And what players make the most sense at those positions?
BetMassachusetts.com – your source for sports betting in Massachusetts – compiled hypothetical odds for which position the Patriots might select with the 14th pick in Round 1.
With Massachusetts sports betting apps live as of March 10, there might be some draft-related odds to consider.
Position Patriots Most Likely to Address
Which Players Might Interest Patriots
The most likely spot for the Patriots to attack in Round 1 is offensive line. New England selected Cole Strange at the end of the first round last year, but they need to address their offensive tackle need this time around. Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State) is likely to be off the board, but he does make a lot of sense if available. Broderick Jones (Georgia) is a highly athletic tackle prospect but is also inexperienced. New England might not be comfortable taking a player that raw in Round 1.
The best bet on the offensive line for New England is Peter Skoronski (Northwestern) as he has the flexibility to play multiple positions. He might not have ideal size to play tackle in the NFL but could be a Joe Thuney-type of player with the Patriots.
Another position to monitor is cornerback for New England. Jack Jones and Marcus Jones had strong rookie seasons, but the Patriots could use more size and athleticism at cornerback. Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State) is one of the longest cornerback prospects ever (34-inch arms) and can be a man-to-man player in the NFL. If the Patriots decide to pick a cornerback in Round 1, he has all the traits to be a star in Bill Belichick’s defense.
If the Patriots decide to give Mac Jones another playmaker, look for them to take a receiver. At pick No. 14, they might have their choice of the litter at receiver. But Boston College WR Zay Flowers makes the most sense given his quickness and big-play potential. He’s likely a slot receiver in the NFL, but he can be an explosive weapon who can create big plays in New England.
Another receiver to consider is Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who is the top receiver in this year’s class. He’s likely a slot-only receiver in the NFL, but he was a super productive player at Ohio State during the 2021 season. With Jakobi Meyers off to Las Vegas via free agency, “JSN” could be an instant starter in the slot for the Patriots.
While the Patriots could certainly pick a defender in Round 1, look for them to continue to invest in their offense as that’s the unit that has held them back the most over the last two seasons. Upgrading the offense needs to be priority No. 1 for the Patriots to get back to the playoffs.
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