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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron Garrity

Full 7-round Patriots 2023 mock draft 2.0

While everyone else turns the page to championship football, the New England Patriots are in full-on 2023 planning mode.

That includes the hiring of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien, along with the priming and preparation for free agency and eventually the NFL draft.

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The first edition of our full seven-round mock draft series can be found here. As always, these mock drafts are what I believe the Patriots should do, not what I’m predicting them to do. With a coach like Bill Belichick, there will always be a surprise or two thrown in there.

Let’s take a look at how the latest mock draft turned out for the Patriots.

Round 1, Pick No. 14: OT, Broderick Jones, Georgia

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The Patriots need tackle help bad, and at No. 14 overall, the two top tackles are already taken. Jones is a mauler and bully in the run game and should fit nicely in New England.

There is still some rawness to his pass protection, but with good offensive line coaching, he could become a franchise tackle in no time.

Round 2, Pick No. 46: CB, Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Forbes has been one of my favorite day two selections every time I go to mock. He is always available in the top 50, and he has the traits necessary to excel as a boundary corner at the next level with speed, length, and lateral movement.

Forbes set the SEC and national record for pick-sixes in his career with six overall, while also racking up 14 total interceptions in his collegiate career, making him a true ballhawk playmaker.

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Patriots receive: Pick No. 57

Giants receive: Pick No. 76, 2024 3rd

Brian Daboll is an old friend of Bill Belichick, and the two teams make a move here, giving the Patriots another second-round selection to target needs, while the Giants move out into round three and pick up a future third for the trouble.

Round 2, Pick 57: WR, Rashee Rice, SMU

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This is the man the Patriots would be trading up to get.

Rashee Rice, SMU’s best receiver, has star wideout written all over him. Not only does he run clean routes, but he also has great hands and speed, while carrying a big, strong stature that will make it harder for opposing corners to shut him out over the top.

Round 4, Pick No. 107: LB, Cam Jones, Indiana

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The Patriots have a need for a linebacker who can challenge the pass, stop the run, and assist in pass-rush scenarios. Cam Jones (yes, another Jones) fits the bill perfectly.

Sitting at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds, Jones has size to blow up blocks, along with the agility you hope to see out of an every-down linebacker. Jones is available in this mock draft, but as we get closer to the actual draft, I wouldn’t be shocked if he sneaks into round two.

Round 4, Pick No. 117: TE Cade Stover, Ohio State

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Stover is an interesting fit here, as the Patriots on paper should not be drafting a tight end for the next few years. However, with Jonnu Smith’s contract being one of the worst contracts the Patriots have signed under Bill Belichick, the Patriots would be crazy to not consider taking a tight end to develop behind Hunter Henry in a very deep tight end class.

Stover sits at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, and he’s coming off a season where he caught 36 balls for 406 yards and five touchdowns. What makes Stover attractive to New England here is that he is a willing blocker. Pro Football Focus has him as a 62.3 graded blocker for his collegiate career.

Round 4, Pick No. 135: C, Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan

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Oluwatimi is one of those guys that screams Patriots. Belichick and company really like their Michigan offensive lineman after taking Michael Onwenu in the sixth round in 2021 and Andrew Stueber in the seventh round in 2022.

It wouldn’t be crazy to think that they wouldn’t go back to the value bin, with a football program secretly turning out good prospects, even if the jury is still out on Stueber.

Oluwatimi is an excellent center that has great awareness, footwork, and a nice balance of power and agility.  The Patriots need to start thinking of a David Andrews replacement, and Oluwatimi, along with Kody Russey, could check that box.

Round 6, Pick No. 192: WR, Jake Bobo, UCLA

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Jake Bobo has great size at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, but what makes him a sixth-round selection is his lack of over the top speed and his age (25 at season start). Still, he is a player the Patriots could develop into a red zone threat, and he has also proven to be a willing blocker in his time at UCLA.

Over his five-year collegiate career, he has racked up 183 receptions for 2,258 yards and 10 touchdowns. The North Andover native transferred from Duke to UCLA for his final season.

Project players with measurables like Bobo go in the late rounds, and there is nothing wrong with trying to develop a player with potential, especially with a revamped offensive coaching staff.

Round 6, No. 210: RB, Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

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Ibrahim is another older, fifth-year player, who is set to turn 25 years old when the season starts. He has seen his fair share of workload, being the Golden Gophers’ bell cow for five seasons.

That could be seen as a good sign that he’s ready for the next level, or it could mean that he is too close to being overworked.

Regardless, if Damien Harris walks in free agency, it wouldn’t hurt to add another running back that runs hard to back up Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris, who will see bigger roles behind Rhamondre Stevenson in Year 2.

Ibrahim tallied 4,681 rushing yards, 53 touchdowns and only four fumbles in college. Ball security and production are good things. Age and a high workload are not.

So Ibrahim falls into a day three category, where the Patriots can attempt to develop him at the next level.

Round 7, Pick No. 233: K, Chad Ryland, Maryland

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Nick Folk is just fine, but he is also getting up there in age. The Patriots are in need of someone who can kick it longer than 45 yards consistently, while also being able to handle kick-off duties.

Ryland offers all of that in a buttoned-up package here at No. 233, as the Patriots need to start getting younger at specialist positions.

Round 7, Pick No. 259: P, Adam Korsak, Rutgers

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With Jake Bailey’s likely last game with New England happening in 2022 and Michael Palardy being the disaster he was, the Patriots should be looking for a punter that they can develop long-term. Korsak is one of the better punters in college football and would be an excellent fit for a Patriots team that loves their Scarlet Knights.

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