Chris Simms on Monday released his first (and only) mock draft for 2023, and the former quarterback-turned-NFL analyst has the Patriots beefing up their offensive line in the first round Thursday night.
Simms’ prediction for New England at No. 14 overall in Round 1: Georgie offensive tackle Broderick Jones.
“Of course, I think they’re in the trade-down conversation. They always are, right,” Simms said on the “Unbuttoned” podcast, before explaining why he doesn’t believe the Patriots will target a cornerback despite speculation to the contrary. ” … If they have to stay put, I’m going to say they go tackle here. Tackle’s a need on their football team. Trent Brown, it’s coming to the end there. Isaiah Wynn’s no longer there. They have a need at that position.”
Jones, listed at 6-foot-5, 311 pounds, is among the top-ranked tackles in this year’s draft class. He was excellent in pass protection for Georgia, the reigning back-to-back national champions, and has serious potential as a run blocker, as well.
While there could be some early hiccups as he adjusts to the NFL, with Jones starting for just a season and a half at Georgia, there’s no denying the 21-year-old’s upside. And the Patriots clearly have a need at the tackle position while trying to keep quarterback Mac Jones upright in his third NFL campaign.
“He might have the greatest potential of all the tackles in this whole draft,” Simms said of Broderick Jones. “He’s got such a body. He’s got incredibly long arms. He’s got the good feet. All of that. There’s some things he needs to work on, but overall, yeah, he’ll be a plug-and-play, starting-right-away-type of tackle.”
The Patriots’ first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is difficult to project, with New England having several glaring needs after a disappointing 2022 season. The team, more than anything, just needs an infusion of talent with the rest of the AFC East looking incredibly dangerous.
Broderick Jones would check that box.