Peter King Predicts Patriots’ 2023 First-Round Pick In NFL Mock Draft

New England needs help on both sides of the ball


Apr 24, 2023

Peter King is, by his own admission, not an NFL draft expert.

Still, he’s been around the game for a long time, with plenty of sources across the league. So, it’s certainly worth noting how he anticipates the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will shake out Thursday night.

King on Monday released his annual NFL mock draft — his only Round 1 projection for 2023 — and the longtime football scribe predicted the New England Patriots will select Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skoronski with the 14th overall pick.

Here’s what King wrote about the projected choice:

Skoronski could be a plug-and-play guard wherever he goes. I considered him for the Eagles, replacing the departed Isaac Seumalo. Skoronski started 33 games at left tackle for Northwestern and was a unanimous first-team all-American. But his arm length is about three inches short for ideal NFL tackle size, so the Patriots could move him inside. If I’m New England, I’m thrilled Skoronski lasted this long, and I grab him to start a decade for the franchise somewhere on the line.

The Patriots could go in any number of directions with their first-round pick. They have several glaring needs, including wide receiver, cornerback and offensive tackle. And Bill Belichick and company might opt to simply pick the best player available when they’re on the clock.

That very well could be Skoronski, though some mock drafts project him to be off the board by the time New England picks at No. 14. If not, he’d certainly be an intriguing addition to New England’s offensive line, despite questions over whether he’ll play tackle or guard at the NFL level.

Of course, it wouldn’t qualify as the sexiest pick, especially with quarterback Mac Jones struggling in his sophomore season and the Patriots severely lacking offensive playmakers. But the Pats don’t typically invest high draft capital in wide receivers. And when they have, it hasn’t been pretty.

New England just needs to make sure it adds an impact player, regardless of position, while trying to close the gap in the AFC East.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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