16 players for Patriots to target on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft

The New England Patriots hit a home run in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but they still have 11 more picks (at least for now) to make.

Day 2 of the draft continues Friday with Rounds 2 and 3, with New England holding a pick in each round. After drafting Oregon corner Christian Gonzalez with the No. 17 overall pick, the Patriots can go in numerous directions on Day 2. Here’s one thing to keep in mind: the Patriots have either traded up or traded back into the second round in each of the last five drafts. With four fourth-round picks at their disposal, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Patriots made it a sixth-straight year.

As New England holds the 46th and 76th picks (for now), here are 16 possible options for them on Day 2.

Patriots’ Offense Targets

North Dakota State OT Cody Mauch: The Patriots bypassed drafting a tackle in the first round, even trading out of No. 14 to let the Pittsburgh Steelers draft Georgia’s Broderick Jones. Mauch was an elite offensive tackle at the FCS level, allowing just two sacks over 30 games in the last two seasons.

Ohio State OT Dawand Jones: Jones was a stable right tackle for the Buckeyes over the last two seasons, playing on the opposite side of the line of Cardinals first-round pick Paris Johnson Jr. He’s a behemoth at 6-foot-8 and 374 pounds and he didn’t allow a sack last season.

6-foot-8. 374 pounds. Dawand Jones is a big dude with even bigger dreams. @dawandj79 | @OhioStateFB

: 2023 #NFLDraft — Starts Thursday 8pm ET on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/urhVVZ0haC

— NFL (@NFL) April 25, 2023

UNC WR Josh Downs: The Tarheel would be a good second slot option along with JuJu Smith-Schuster. He’s proven to be a security blanket at the college level, recording 95 receptions last season, and has the ability to break plays open with his 4.49 40-yard speed.

Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt: If the Patriots want a receiver that’ll help them stretch the field more, Hyatt’s the best vertical threat remaining. He feasted on opposing SEC secondaries last season, recording 67 receptions for 1,267 yards and 15 touchdowns as he did much of his damage on vertical routes.

Is @Vol_Football WR @jalinhyatt going to be a superstar in the league?

: 2023 #NFLDraft starts Thursday 8pm ET on NFLN/ESPN/ABC
: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/fV7xBv7eVl

— NFL (@NFL) April 25, 2023

Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron: Bergeron is a solid Day 2 option at left tackle. After allowing just one sack in 2021, he gave up five in 2022. There have been some concerns about his run blocking but he’s been viewed as a solid, consistent player for the Orange over the last three seasons.

SMU WR Rahsee Rice: Rice has a good mix of making contested catches (he recorded 16 contested catches last season, per PFF) and making plays in the open field. He had 96 receptions for a whopping 1,344 yards last season.

Ole Miss WR Jonathan Mingo: One of the biggest risers ahead of the draft should be an option for New England. He has a good combination of size (6-foot-2) and speed (4.46 40-yard time). He had 51 receptions for 861 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Iowa TE Sam LaPorta: Iowa is Tight End University, so you always have to consider a Hawkeye tight end. He had 58 receptions last season and had 30 broken tackles over the last two seasons.

Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer: Mayer might be the best prospect on the board entering Day 2. He brings a strong mix of blocking and receiving, recording 67 receptions for 809 yards last season, making him a strong three-down tight end option for the Patriots to possibly trade up for.

Michael Mayer will be a ________ by tomorrow night pic.twitter.com/02s2XZCY96

— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 26, 2023

Alabama OT Tyler Steen: Alabama has been a breeding ground for offensive tackles over the years. Steen was very solid in his role as the starting left tackle over the last three seasons.


The Patriots’ hit their biggest need on defense, so there aren’t as many options I would suggest here.

Alabama S Brian Branch: Branch played a similar role as Minkah Fitzpatrick did at Alabama and had similar results. He had two interceptions and 90 tackles last season as he played safety and nickel corner.

Alabama’s Brian Branch has the perfect mix of cover instincts, suddenness to trigger, take on skills, and patients + closing speed to be a complete weapon at nickel.

Only SAF worth a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s can be a Tyrann Mathieu type for a defense. pic.twitter.com/MwqMQM8QkN

— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 21, 2023

FSU S Jammie Robinson: Robinson was a ballhawk at FSU, recording five interceptions over the last two seasons. He also had 99 combined tackles as the Patriots still look for a Devin McCourty replacement.

Clemson LB Trenton Simpson: The Patriots got fine play at linebacker but stand to improve. Simpson doubles as a coverage linebacker, playing snaps at slot corner, and can tackle, recording 16.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks over the last two seasons.

Georgia Tech EDGE Keion White: White is a bit raw for a 24-year-old. An ankle injury and the pandemic cost him the 2020 and 2021 seasons. But he was great last season, recording seven sacks as his 6-foot-5 frame could give an edge in the NFL.

Georgia Tech Edge Keion White
6’5 – 285 lbs

-Athletically gifted for his impressive

– High Ceiling = still pretty raw

– Recruited TE in college at ODU

-Long Arms/Powerful Hands

– 14 TKFL 7.5 Sacks in 2022

– Early 2nd round projectionpic.twitter.com/lG5w6ZsQnb

— Jared Tokarz (@JaredNFLDraft) April 21, 2023

Arkansas LB Drew Sanders: Sanders began his career as an edge rusher before moving to linebacker in 2022. He recorded 9.5 sacks in his lone season at Arkansas, being utilized as a blitzer up the middle at times. He also had 103 total tackles.

LSU Edge BJ Ojulari: The big 6-foot-3 defensive lineman was constantly praised by SEC coaches last year. Understandably so, 12.5 sackes, 112 tackles and 20.5 tackles for loss over the last two seasons.

The post 16 players for Patriots to target on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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