Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft is in the book and it was another strong day for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Let’s break down winners and losers from the second and third rounds.
Winner: Patriots. After finding value in Christian Gonzalez in the first-round, New England continued to add players lower than their consensus ranking. Additionally, they continued to get bigger, faster, and more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. Keion White makes an already dangerous pass rush even more scary, while Mapu is the exact kind of playmaker that thrives in a Bill Belichick defense.
“Good to get Keion and Marte,” Bill Belichick said. “They are all good players. Guys that have good size for their position. Good speed for the position. Smart guys. I think they should help us.”
Winner: Hunter Henry/Mike Gesicki. In a tight end draft class that was considered one of the strongest in years, many thought New England might invest a Day 2 pick at the position — especially with Henry and Gesicki only under contract through this season. However, New England sat and watched eight tight ends come off the board Friday night. They still could add a depth piece on Day 3, but they seem content with their current pair carrying the load this season.
Winner: Trent Brown/Riley Reiff. Similarly to the tight ends, New England did not add a Day 2 offensive tackle. Where things stand now, it seems like they will head into OTAs with Brown and Reiff as their starting pair.
Around the League
Winner: Quarterbacks. After falling out of the first-round, both Will Levis and Hendon Hooker found great landing spots Friday night. The Tennessee Titans traded up to No. 33 to acquire Levis, who will now get to learn under a similar player in Ryan Tannehill. As for Hooker, he will get to sit behind Jared Goff this season while he learns the Detroit offense.
Loser: Carolina Panthers. The Panthers entered this draft with just five total picks, a result of trading up to the No. 1 overall selection. With teams moving all around the board, it felt like they had a good opportunity to move down and recoup some draft capital. Instead they stayed put to take wide receiver Jonathan Mingo at pick No. 39 and moved up for edge D.J. Johnson at No. 80. Both picks made out as major reaches compared to consensus draft boards.
Loser: Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville got off to a strong start last night picking offensive tackle Anton Harrison. Things that went a bit sideways on Friday as they took tight end Brenton Strange 61st overall and running back Tank Bigsby 88th overall. Strange seemed like a reach, while GM Trent Baalke’s love for third-round running backs has not treated him well in the past.
Full history:— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) April 29, 2023
2011 SF: Kendall Hunter (Round 4)
2012 SF: LaMichael James (R2)
2013 SF: Marcus Lattimore (R4)
2014 SF: Carlos Hyde (R2)
2015 SF: Mike Davis (R4)
2016 SF: Kelvin Taylor (R6)
2021 JAX: Travis Etienne (R1)
2022 JAX: Snoop Conner (R5)
2023 JAX: Tank Bigsby (R3) https://t.co/8XzdFTARQ9