Perry: Why Patriots are ‘fired up’ internally after Round 1 of draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Mission accomplished. To this point.
The New England Patriots had a successful first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday night, snagging a top talent at a top position of need while acquiring additional draft capital in the process. New England dealt its No. 14 overall pick to the Steelers for Pittsburgh‘s No. 17 pick and its fourth-rounder (No. 120), then took Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez — projected by many as a top-10 pick — at 17.
Patriots Talk: Picking Christian Gonzalez 17th overall in the 2023 NFL Draft is DREAM SCENARIO for Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
The Gonzalez pick drew high praise from around the league, and it appears the Patriots are pleased with their selection as well. Our Phil Perry reports the Patriots are “fired up” behind the scenes after Day 1 and are particularly enthused about picking up an extra fourth-round pick — an addition viewed as “huge.”
New England now has four picks in the fourth round alone (Nos. 107, 117, 120 and 135), giving Bill Belichick and his staff the resources to potentially move up the draft board with another trade. While the Patriots have one pick each in Rounds 2 and 3 — No. 46 and No. 76 — they easily could package some of their 11 remaining selections to add a third Day 2 pick if there’s a player they covet.
Perry: Here’s who the Patriots should target on NFL Draft Day 2
In fact, they’re already exploring that possibility entering Friday night, according to NFL reporter Mike Giardi.
Per league sources, the #Patriots have made calls about moving up in round 2. With the amount of draft capital they have, especially in round 4, they have the potential to make a decent leap in both rounds 2 and 3.
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 28, 2023
The best news for the Patirots? They picked up that extra resource while still adding an impact talent who some believed they’d have to trade up in Round 1 to acquire. Perry had Gonzalez going to the Houston Texans at No. 12 in his final mock draft, while several other mocks had the Oregon star off the board in the top 10.
Three of these five were sitting there for the Patriots at No. 14. They trade down three spots, guaranteed to get one of âem. Ideal scenario.
Then they got the last guy remaining I thought was worthy of a *trade up.*
Hard to draw it up any better than that. https://t.co/9LsZHUdwUz
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) April 28, 2023
It’s much too early to declare this pick a success, as we have no idea how Gonzalez will pan out in New England. But at the very least, it sounds like everything went according to plan — or even better than expected — for the Patriots in Round 1.