Updated: Aug 4
Well the Hoodie did it again. He moved down and up, collected and moved off of picks. He zigged while we all zagged. Proving once again the NFL Draft board and expectations mean nothing to this man. . I feel like i've written these words so many times before. Because i have. And you’ve all read them. ( thanks for that by the way) anyway here are my grades on the Patriots 2023 NFL Draft
Round 1: No. 17 (from Pittsburgh) Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon A+
Bill and the boys would have gotten an A+ if they had drafted this kid at 14. He was a consensus top 10 player on this years board and the # 1 CB on many. Bill traded back to 17 picked up a 4th rd pick for their troubles. While OT was on everyone's mind here Bill moved back and got a stud.
Round 2: No. 46 Keion White, Edge, Georgia Tech B+
Again a top rated player a first rd talent who was invited to the Draft in KC but declined ( can you blame him ) white recorded 7.5 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss in his senior season and is a real find and Patriots fit here in RD 2. he can and will play multiple spots in the Patriots front seven. bill Loves that. i loved an OT here.
Round 3: No. 76 (from Panthers) Marte Mapu, LB, Sacramento State B-
This is where things went off the rail for me personally. Mapu is a hybrid guy who plays downhill and hits with reckless abandon. He’s a perfect fit here in New England who will become an instant chess piece for Mayo to use in the front. Mapu can line up in multiple spots and wreak havoc. The only reason this grade is a B- is redundancy. See Kyle Dugger. but i love this kid i love the viciousness of his game.
Round 4: No. 107 (from Rams) Jake Andrews, C, Troy C+
Yes Centers Rule , i've said it all before but this pick here ? I get it, but I don't. Last year the Pats had to take the field without David Andrews on three occasions. And he played hurt most of the season. Bill fixed this issue. I just feel a lot of the time spent on the O-Line could have been addressed with that second round pick. By selecting Cody Mauch. but how do you not like this guy? this is how a Center reacts to being drafted.
Round 4: No. 112 Chad Ryland, K, Maryland F
This kid could work out and be the next Patriots kicker in a long line of great Patriots kickers. Then again. The grade is on the 112 slot not the player. he both kicks field goals extras and handles kick off duties... Dwand Jones went one pick before Bill took a KICKER
Round 4: No. 117 Sidy Sow, G, Eastern Michigan C
Sow is an interesting grab here at 117 the glaring need was still OT, Sow is versatile but can he give you snaps at RT ? He played LT his freshman year before being kicked inside to LG in his final 3 years. All as a starter and back to back JR/SR all MAC conference seasons. With OT Carter Warren still on the board I have to give pause. Sow could have been had later.
Round 5: No. 144 (from Raiders) Antonio Mafi, G, UCLA C
More interior linemen ? why Not , i'll tell you why not, you just took a rotational guy 27 picks earlier. Mafi was my best bet at excelling from the mid rounds, but how many shots are you going to take Bill ?
Round 6: No. 187 (from Panthers) Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU. A
I love this choice here in the sixth. Boutte ( pronounced Boo-Tay ) was a freshman all American in 2020 then well we aren't sure what went down and why his game slid the way it did in his collegiate career. If Bilicheck can figure out the combination to this safe, he hits paydirt. He has both inside and outside value. His size and speed are on point for what you would want 3 rounds earlier. But I would have liked to see fewer drops.
Round 6: No. 192 Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State A
Need a punter, get a punter and in the sixth. Baringer is a 2018 walk-on who lost his job in 2019, but kept fighting his way back until securing it for good in 2020. In 2022 he led the nation with 49 yards per punt, forced 12 fair catches and dropped 20 inside the 20. He was first team all AP in 2022.
Round 6: No. 210* Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty B
Douglass is another smurfy kind of slot receiver 5’8. He has decent speed but isn't the most polished of route runners. Bill messed up and should have done with K-State RB Deuce Vaughn here. He was drafted two picks later by Dallas. yes i'm taking it out on Bill and Douglas here. Douglass is my dark horse to make real noise in camp.
Round 6: No. 214 (from Las Vegas) Ameer Speed, DB, Michigan State C +
6’ 3 210 lb speed lives up to his name. He ran a 4.33 40 and had 62 tackles and 5 pass breakups as a senior. Speed started his career at Georgia but transferred after his SR campange to Michigan State. He could see special teams reps as a Patriots but you have to think camp body here.
Round 7: No. 245 (from Bills through Falcons) Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State. B +
Just for the Name Bolden you get a B - . Bolden was the first HBCU player taken in this year's draft and i'm rooting for him. No Not just because he is Bolden. The 6’2 220 lb Isaiah left Florida State to learn from the best Deion Sanders and learn he did, both return game and playing the corner. He had 44 tackles, 30 of them solo. Broke up 7 passes and averaged 26 yards on kickoff returns. He was voted second team all SWAC as a CB.
Another head scratcher from the mind of Belichick ? half of these picks i love the rest I'm left wondering. Was it smart to devote three 4th round picks to this interior when one at the most two would have sufficed. Did Belichick pass on positions of greater need and forgo better talent in the second to take who he and many think was a first rd talent?. Time will tell as players grow and mature. But let it be known that Belichick didn't pull the wool over anyone's eyes, we again weren't looking in the same direction. B - is the grade I've come up with. shout out to @Calimay82 for the great cover photo
As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207