For the first time in what feels like ages, the New England Patriots seems like an afterthought in the NFL landscape. After one of the most dominating dynasties of the past 20 years, it has now been four seasons since the Patriots have won a playoff game, and it seems like they’re only trending further in the opposite direction.
It’s the Patriots’ turn in our 2023 NFL Community Mock Draft, and it is up to Pride of Detroit Commenter tjwGOblue to turn the tide in Foxborough. Before we get into the pick, here’s a look at the 13 picks before the Patriots:
No. 1: Carolina Panthers, Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
No. 2: Houston Texans, C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
No. 3: Arizona Cardinals, Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia
No. 4: Indianapolis Colts, Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
No. 5: Seattle Seahawks, Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama
No. 6: Detroit Lions, Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
No. 7: Las Vegas Raiders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
No. 8: Atlanta Falcons: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech
No. 9: Chicago Bears: Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern
No. 10: Philadelphia Eagles: Bryan Breese, EDGE, Clemson
No. 11: Tennessee Titans: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
No. 12: Houston Texans: Paris Johnson Jr., OL, Ohio State
No. 13: New York Jets: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
With the 14th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the New England Patriots have selected, Joe Porter Jr., cornerback out of Penn State.
Here’s tjwGOblue with the rationale for the pick:
“2022 was a precarious year for the Patriots and one they’d likely want to move on from. Bill Belichick did his young quarterback no favors by having Matt Patricia and Joe Judge on the offensive side of the ball where they had little to no experience. Hence bringing back Bill O’Brien to put out the dumpster fire that was left behind.
“Despite the mess on offense, I see a bigger need on the defensive side of the ball, which is what led to the selection of Joey Porter Jr. The Patriots have invested heavily in their defensive backs recently but have yet to replace the elite capabilities that Stephon Gilmore brought them. Porter Jr. comes with some pedigree, and you can see his father’s physicality when he gets tackling downhill. He brings great size and arm length to line up against opponents’ bigger receivers and his athleticism highlighted by his 9.70 RAS score. Porter had an overall PFF grade of 73.2 last year and led all Power 5 conferences with a 40% forced incompletion rate. Some of his best games were against NFL caliber receivers, evident by his 45 yards allowed on 73 coverage snaps against OSU in 2021 and 2022.
“I do have concerns about the number of penalties he gave up in 2021 but he did clean that up the following season. Still, pass interference is much harsher in the pros, and he tends to yank on opponents’ jerseys when he’s beaten. While he did have 11 pass deflections last year, one career INT leaves a bit to be desired.
“Now per usual, I expect the Patriots to trade out of this pick, especially if a quarterback were to fall. If this isn’t a defensive back the Patriots could use some long term solutions at tackle on either side of the ball.”
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