2023 NFL Draft Grades: New England Patriots

The 2023 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, and we have compiled a consensus ranking using NFL draft grades from a variety of sites.

What draft grades have the media given to the New England Patriots? What are they saying about the Patriots' 2023 draft haul?

MORE: 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule

NFL.com - Grade: A-

Gonzalez provided nice value at No. 17 as he covers receivers like a blanket and makes plays on the ball, the primary jobs of an NFL cornerback. White's ability to play outside and inside makes him a typical Patriots defensive line selection. Mapu is yet another New England Day 2 pick that makes casual fans say, "Who?" But I thought he showed real potential as a linebacker/hybrid who will star on special teams.

The team used the fourth-rounder gained from the Rams for running back Sony Michel on Andrews, a solid Day 3 pick as a guard or center. They added Sow and Mafi later to compete for jobs along the O-line, as well. I love Boutte's fit as a physical slot receiver ,and Douglas is undersized but agile in the open field. The size and athleticism of both Speed and Bolden are intriguing. The team hopes Ryland and Baringer bring consistency to the special-teams units.

ESPN - Grade: B+

At No. 14 overall, the Patriots were in an interesting spot in this draft. In fact, that was right around the cutoff point for where most NFL execs and scouts had their first-round grades. That's right: There are 31 first-round picks, but there never are 31 prospects who have first-round grades on teams' boards. It's usually 20 or so, but this class wasn't considered to be as good as recent drafts. Still, New England was in a spot to get a starter, either at cornerback, offensive tackle or wide receiver. And that's what Bill Belichick was able to do, trading down for cornerback Christian Gonzalez (17), a player I had ranked in the top 10. This is a fantastic get.

I also liked the Keion White (46) selection in the middle of Round 2. He has the position flexibility to play with his hand in the dirt or standing up on the edge of the D-line. I thought the Pats reached a little bit for linebacker Marte Mapu (76), but he is a solid player, so I'm not going to ding them much. The biggest question I had Friday night was: Why didn't they get Mac Jones any help? They passed on the tight ends and receivers. In fact, they ended up not taking a pass-catcher until Round 6.

On Day 3, New England added both my top-ranked kicker Chad Ryland (112) and punter Bryce Baringer (192), becoming the first team since the 2000 Raiders to take a kicker and a punter in the same draft. This definitely fills holes, and Belichick had a few extra picks with which to work. Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (187) is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. Coming into the 2022 season, we thought he might be a first-round pick; he had nine touchdowns on just 38 catches in 2021. Then he had a poor season and an even worse pre-draft process, testing terribly at the combine. If the Patriots can untap his talent, he could be a major steal, but I have doubts.

This grade might be clouded a bit by the first two selections, both of which I loved; but overall, it's tough to downgrade this class too much.

SI - Grade: B-

The Patriots did what they normally do, moving all over the board and acquiring a hoard of picks. New England made 12 selections in all, including being the only team to take both a kicker and a punter. The Patriots' best choice was their first, somehow getting Gonzalez at No. 17. New England also got tremendous value in White, who fell to the mid-second round while Mapu was a favorite of many evaluators in the pre-draft process. The latter rounds were about special teams and perimeter talent, with Bill Belichick selecting an additional two corners and two receivers.

PFF - Grade: A-

Day 1: The Patriots move down to 17th overall, add a fourth-round pick and still land the second-best cornerback on the PFF big board. He has the size and speed you look for at the position and had the best season of his career after transferring to Oregon in 2022, racking up four interceptions and six pass breakups.

Day 2: White fits the mold of the defensive linemen that New England tends to look for up front — a powerful 6-foot-5, 285-pounder. White earned a 75.8 PFF pass-rush grade in his lone season as a starter for Wake Forest in 2022 after transferring from Old Dominion.

The Patriots continue to add different skill sets and body types at safety, a position they've had good depth at in recent years. At 221 pounds, Mapu came in at the 96th percentile among safeties in weight, and he paired that with an 85.9 PFF run-defense grade in his final season at Sacramento. He'll likely have a role in the box with New England.

Day 3: For the second year in a row, the Patriots reach on a center, as Andrews ranked No. 237 on the consensus big board. Andrews is adept as a run blocker in zone and gap concepts but earned a 56.5 pass block grade due to a lack of anchor and lower-body strength, which showed up with a 24th-percentile vertical and 44th-percentile broad jump.

Ryland was the No. 3 kicker on the PFF big board, earning 89.0-plus kicking grades in each of the last two seasons. The below-average grade here is less of an indictment of Ryland as it is the process of trading up for a kicker in the fourth round.

Sow is one of the more experienced offensive line prospects in this class, having played over 3,500 snaps across five seasons at Eastern Michigan. He's a big, athletic guard at 324 pounds who graded better on gap-scheme runs than zone runs in college.

New England landed a big, athletic guard in Sidy Sow in the fourth round and goes back to the well with the 6-foot-4, 339-pound Mafi here. Mafi earned an 88.3 run-blocking grade in a UCLA offense that moves lightning-fast under head coach Chip Kelly. This past season was his first as a full-time starter, perhaps signaling more growth and development ahead.

Boutte fell for many reasons — a lack of production in 2022 after lofty expectations, a very poor combine and apparent off-field concerns. However, this is a player that many analysts projected as the potential No. 1 wide receiver in the 2023 draft class before the season, and New England lands him at No. 187 overall.

The Patriots take their second specialist of the draft here with Baringer after trading up for Chad Ryland in the fourth round. Baringer's 76.4 PFF punting grade over the last two seasons ranks 26th out of 62 Power 5 punters with at least 50 punts.

Douglas is small, but he put up some impressive numbers at Liberty in 2022. He produced an 81.7 PFF grade against man coverage and averaged 2.57 yards per route run. He dropped just four of the 80 catchable passes thrown his way this past season.

Speed played six years in college, but this past season at Michigan State was the only year where he was on the field for more than 200 snaps. He saw 737 snaps for the Spartans but produced just a 57.2 PFF grade.

Bolden graded at 74.7 overall playing in the slot this past season under Deion Sanders at Jackson State.

Fox Sports - Grade: B+

Cornerback Christian Gonzlez might just be the best athlete Bill Belichick has ever coached at cornerback. And that's saying something, given the coach has worked with Ty Law and Stephon Gillmore, among others. So for the Patriots to get Gonzalez at 17 after trading back? That's just awesome.

They then took Georgia Tech defensive end Keion White in the second round. He's another elite athlete with a lot of potential. The good news is that he won't have to rush onto the field, with the Patriots fairly deep on the edge.

New England finished the draft with a total of 12 — TWELVE! — prospects. They took three cornerbacks, one defensive lineman, one inside linebacker, two receivers, three interior offensive linemen, one kicker and one punter.

What they didn't take? A tackle. That's the lone need they didn't fill.

USA Today - Grade: B-

They got a top-10 talent in CB Christian Gonzalez, even after trading back to 17th in the move that allowed the Steelers to jump the Jets for Jones (double win for Pats?). High-effort second-rounder Keion White adds juice to an already formidable pass rush. And Bill Belichick obtained three linemen to bolster the protection in front of QB Mac Jones. However BB did not get Jones any noteworthy weapons, had to do a deal with the hated Jets to get K Chad Ryland in the fourth round and rolled the dice on Round 3 Sacramento State LB Marte Mapu.

The Ringer - Grade: A

Well, it was a characteristically weird draft class for the Patriots, who picked 12 times—and took both a kicker and punter. I thought New England got one of the biggest steals of the first round in Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez, who is a day-one starter with elite athleticism and prototype size. I'm a fan of Georgia Tech defensive end Keion White, too—a big, twitchy pass rusher with inside-outside versatility. Sacramento State linebacker/safety Marte Mapu plays like a heat-seeking missile and can range all over the back-seven. And I think taking a flier on former LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte is a worthwhile roll of the dice: He's a former big-time recruit and was one of the top-ranked college receivers coming into last season, but he fell down draft boards after a disastrous, injury-marred final season for the Tigers. But if he can reclaim some of his early-career form, he'll be a heist for New England in the sixth. Finally, I'll say this: He's a punter, yes, but Bryce Baringer has a howitzer for a leg.

Sporting News - Grade: C-

The Patriots hit Gonzalez out of the park and also got their ideal defensive lineman in White. But then it was the typical "why?" and "who?" that's been the case of late under Bill Belichick, including too many offensive linemen, a kicker and a punter. At least Boutte keeps Day 3 from being a total repeat flameout.

Touchdown Wire - Grade: A

The Patriots got a lot of "my guys" in this draft, so of course I'm going to like it. We can start with Christian Gonzalez, who somehow lasted to the 17th pick. Perhaps other teams were put off by the fact that Gonzalez is more of a technician than an aggressor, but there is no more purely athletic cornerback in this class, and he's in the right environment to bring out a bit more of that aloha stuff. And I love the addition of Keion White, who can win inside and outside as a speed/power pass-rusher who will also surprise you with his ability to drop and cover.

I will be fascinated to see how Belichick deploys Marte Mapu, who, like Kyle Dugger a few years back, is a smaller-school safetybacker who shows his athletic tools from multiple spots. SIdy Sow and Atonio Mafi especially project well to help an offensive line in transition, and if the Patriots can get the most out of Kayshon Boutte, that's going to be one of the steals of this class. Boutte was thought to be a first-round prospect before his disappointing 2022 season.

More: 2023 NFL Draft Grade Roundups

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