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New England Patriots links 5/09/23 - Probing the depths: Roster fits and cuts

Daily news and links for Tuesday.

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New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
Nick Folk
Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images


  • Evan Lazar’s roster projection: A way-too-early 53-man roster projection for the Patriots.
  • Evan Lazar points out how several Patriots ties led fifth-round pick Atonio Mafi to New England. The Patriots fifth-round selection was a Shrine Bowl standout after starting for multiple seasons on UCLA’s offensive line. Mafi first caught Matt Groh’s scouting eye four years ago.
  • Mike Dussault writes, “The Patriots are no strangers to taking a chance on a hard-hitting small-school defensive prospect and 2023 third-rounder Marte Mapu is the latest, an ideal fit as a new-age hybrid defender who combines length, speed and smarts to further blur the lines between a defensive back and linebacker.”


  • Taylor Kyles resets the post-draft depth chart on defense: The Patriots’ defense-heavy approach to the top of the draft could prove to be a worthy investment, both short- and long-term.
  • Phil Perry puts together his 53-man roster projection: Rookie wide receiver provides tantalizing upside.
  • Nick Goss calls out CBS Sports’ new ranking of top 32 starting NFL QBs that has Mac Jones way too low.
  • Matt Dolloff tells us why we should actually be pumped about kickers in New England right now.
  • Zander Manning (MusketFire) Why Nick Folk should stay in New England, even if he doesn’t play every game.
  • Danny Jaillet (PatriotsWire) Patriots rookies react to being drafted and visiting Gillette Stadium.
  • Jordy McElroy (PatriotsWire) Final draft grades round-up: Christian Gonzalez - Keion White - Marte Mapu - Chad Ryland - Jake Andrews.
  • Jerry Thornton explains why WR Kayshon Boutte is the most fascinating pick the Patriots made in this year’s draft.
  • Doug Kyed reminds us of how Bill Belichick handles rookie numbers. Since 2018, the Patriots’ rookies wear numbers starting in the 50s during OTAs, minicamp and training camp. They don’t get traditional numbers until their first preseason game.
  • Doug Kyed reports the Patriots spent too much in free agency to receive any compensatory draft picks in 2024.
  • Chris Mason adds that even without any comp picks, the Pats have eight selections in the 2024 Draft.
  • Adam London notes ESPN’s Matt Bowen spotlights Christian Gonzalez and Keion White as “perfect fits” for the Pats.
  • Nick Stevens relays The Athletic’s “All-Draft Pick Team” naming two Patriots: 3rd-round LB/S Marte Mapu and 4th-round OL Sidy Sow.
  • Jordy McElroy (PatriotsWire) Jim Nagy reveals Marte Mapu play that even got Mike Tomlin’s attention.
  • Danny Jaillet highlights “The Boom Cast” Podcast guest Nate Ebner reliving his game-sealing play vs. the Denver Broncos in 2013.
  • Conor Roche (ClutchPoints) Mac Jones’ former Alabama teammate once worked out with QB in suit, ‘church shoes’
  • Chris Mason relays Logan Ryan on ‘Good Morning Football’ saying Stephon Gilmore is a ‘first-ballot Hall of Famer’.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike and Murph discuss New England’s biggest roster concerns, while Mike provide his thoughts on Mike Gesicki’s potential impact on the passing game. (50 min.)


  • Albert Breer (SI) Takeaways: Why Lamar Jackson’s deal is a step up from Jalen Hurts’s; Plus, more scouting notes from the 2023 NFL draft, including the Dalton Kincaid selection, Jordan Love’s deal and much more.
  • Around the NFL ( 2023 NFL Schedule to be released on Thursday, May 11.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) The 2023 schedule will make a major break from tradition: For the first time ever, no network will be tied to any Sunday afternoon games.
  • Cody Benjamin (CBS Sports) 2023 NFL schedule: Predicting top matchups, including season opener, Thanksgiving games, Black Friday. ‘SNF’ opener prediction: Jets vs. Patriots.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) 2023 strength of schedule for all 32 teams: Eagles, Cowboys and Dolphins have it the toughest. Patriots 3rd toughest. /Why the headline skip Patriots to list Cowboys (Tied with Giants for 4th)?
  • Analysts ( Which team should play in the most prime-time games? No Pats.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) NFL planning to hold first Monday tripleheader in league history on Christmas Day. /How the NFL stole Christmas.
  • Experts (ESPN) 2023 NFL Draft: Debating which rookie classes could have an instant impact. No Pats.
  • Gilberto Manzano (SI) Ten Day 2 NFL picks who will dominate as rookies in 2023. No Pats.
  • Brad Spielberger (PFF) One last offseason move for all 16 AFC teams. Patriots: DI Matt Ioannidis. Adding a tried-and-true interior pass rusher alongside a hopefully healthier Christian Barmore would make sense for the Pats.
  • Jason McCourty ( 2023 NFL season: 32 teams, 32 people to root for. Patriots: Matthew Slater.
  • Marc Ross ( Ten rookies in the best situations to succeed in Year 1 and beyond. No Pats.
  • Jacob Camenker (Sporting News) NFL quarterback power rankings: The AFC’s best and worst QBs with Aaron Rodgers joining loaded conference. Mac Jones ranked 15th out of 16. /C’mon man.
  • Eric Edholm ( 2023 NFL Draft class rankings. Patriots: 15th, Grade B-.
  • Amelia Probst and Arjun Menon (PFF) NFL Power Rankings. Patriots 20th. (same as pre-Draft ranking).
  • Staff (WLWT5) ‘I was doing high knees in jeans’: Bengals’ Karras recalls introduction to Patriots, Belichick as rookie.
  • Albert Breer (SI) 2024 NFL Draft: The six players fans need to know, including Caleb Williams.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Robert Saleh: Trade down to 15 didn’t matter, Jets would’ve drafted Will McDonald at 13. /okaaaay, and I have a bridge to sell you.
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) Prosecutors: Former Bills punter Matt Araiza wasn’t present during alleged gang rape.