Morning Sports Update

Here’s who Mel Kiper has the Patriots picking in his first 2023 NFL mock draft

Kiper also listed offensive line and wide receiver as possible areas the Patriots might address in the draft.

Devon Witherspoon
Devon Witherspoon playing for Illinois in 2022. Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Bruins play the Lightning tonight in Tampa at 7 p.m.

The Celtics will also be in action this evening, hosting the Knicks at 7:30 p.m.

Mel Kiper’s first mock draft: With the Patriots’ season over — bereft of a playoff spot for the second time in three seasons — attention has already turned to the team’s numerous priorities that need to be addressed in both free agency and the draft.

On Wednesday, longtime ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. released the first of his 2023 NFL mock drafts.

In it, he projects that the Patriots will select Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon with the 14th pick.


“Witherspoon is my top-ranked corner, a long and physical player who shut down an entire side of the field for the Fighting Illini,” wrote Kiper. “He also is not afraid to stick his head in and make a tackle.”

At Illinois, Witherspoon recorded 41 total tackles in 2022 with three interceptions. As Kiper noted, Witherspoon is also known for his physicality.

Beyond cornerback, Kiper suggested New England could also consider drafting an offensive lineman or a wide receiver.

The 2023 NFL Draft gets underway on April 27 in Kansas City.

Trivia: Who is the last cornerback that the Patriots drafted in the first round?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He recorded seven interceptions as a rookie and was named to the Pro Bowl, but eventually switched to safety.

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Trivia answer: Devin McCourty


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