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New England Patriots links 5/04/23 - Digesting the draft, projecting starters; Who’s in, who’s out?

Daily news and links for Thursday

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Tyquan Thornton a “winner” after the draft
Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images


  • Evan Lazar’s Film Review: Are the Patriots evolving at linebacker with the selection of Marte Mapu? ‘There will always be a role on Belichick’s defense for linebackers who are 250-plus pounds and can fill a gap like a defensive lineman or stand up a lead blocker. However, New England’s team speed at the second level of the defense is something they’ve been trying to improve.’
  • Evan Lazar reports JuJu Smith-Schuster is loving his first impressions of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, quarterback Mac Jones, and other teammates.
  • Patriots announce Mike Vrabel is voted by fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
  • Highlights: Robert Kraft calls Mike Vrabel with the good news. (1.42 min. video)


  • Andy Hart says the word ‘competitive’ best describes the Patriots’ draft and by extension their 2023 hopes.
  • Chris Mason projects the Patriots starters following the draft.
  • Phil Perry shares what he’s hearing about Christian Gonzalez’s strengths and weaknesses, his slide in the draft and why the Patriots thrilled to take him at No. 17. Is Belichick evolving his demands at CB?
  • Andrew Callahan asks ex-Patriots scout Jim Nagy for his input on the Patriots’ 2023 draft class. “They addressed special teams, they got a couple of really versatile pieces on defense, they got a guy (Troy offensive lineman Jake Andrews) they feel like is gonna be the heir apparent at center. And they got competition on the interior offensive line and a couple core (special) teams players at the end of the draft. So they addressed their needs, and that’s what you want going into a draft.” More.
  • Matt Couture (BellyUpSports) Patriots draft grades: A breakdown of each player, what they will bring to the Patriots, and the pick as a whole. ‘One thing is clear, the Patriots went with the best available and value picks, which is often the right path to take.’
  • Matt Dolloff tells us 12 things to know about the Patriots’ 2023 draft picks: 2. Keion White had no pre-Draft contact with the Patriots. /Wonder which team was his biggest suitor.
  • Ricky Doyle relays Bill Barnwell (ESPN+) including WR Tyquan Thornton among his “winners” of the 2023 NFL Draft.
  • Doug Kyed runs through the winners and losers on the Patriots’ roster after last weekend’s draft: Winner: Mac Jones. Loser: Nick Folk could be out of a job.
  • Dakota Randall sees the Patriots draft selections as probably a bad sign for 2022 6th-round pick, G Chasen Hines.
  • Chris Mason highlights Devin McCourty explaining that while he thinks the Patriots are better, he adds, “Does it matter if you’re better, but the division is better, everyone else is better, and you’re not able to be in the playoffs again this year?”
  • Alex Barth explains how the Patriots draft class targeted needs in 2024 as much as 2023.
  • Mark Morse (PatsFans) Clearing the Patriots draft notepad; More. One of the reasons that Kayshon Boutte dropped in the draft is that he had poor workouts at the Combine and his Pro Day. One reason may be that he had a broken bone in his ankle. He had two surgeries on that ankle and is not sure if he needs another.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Mac Jones needs to have more “moments” in 2023 to truly seize QB role.
  • Chris Mason’s Patriots Mailbag: How will the Patriots approach the talented 2024 free agent class?
  • Soor Vora (StadiumRant) These four NFL Draft snubs could make a serious NFL impact.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate talks Mike Vrabel’s election to the Patriots Hall of Fame; Clare Cooper joins to discuss the Pats snubbing TEs in the 2023 NFL Draft. (47 min.)
  • A Clare Perspective Podcast: Clare welcomes Nick Stevens to talk the “draft-ermath” for the Patriots. (48 min.)