Robert Kraft explains why he’s ‘really hopeful’ about the 2023 Patriots

"I liked our draft this year, and I hope that translates on the field."

New England Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft, left, first-round pick, cornerback Christian Gonzalez, center, and team owner Robert Kraft, right, hold a team jersey as Gonzalez is introduced to the media at Gillette Stadium, Friday April 28, 2021, in Foxboro, Mass.
Robert Kraft is expecting big things from Christian Gonzalez and the Patriots' 2023 draft class. .(AP Photo/Paul Connors)

After acknowledging back in March that he was “very disappointed” with the Patriots’ 2022 season, Robert Kraft echoed a more optimistic message about New England’s chances of a bounce-back season on Thursday.

While speaking to ESPN’s Mike Reiss and other reporters at the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards luncheon at Gillette Stadium, Kraft explained why he’s encouraged by this revamped roster.

“I’m excited to have football back,” Kraft said. “I liked our draft this year, and I hope that translates on the field. I know the guys are working very hard. I think we have the most difficult division in the NFL — the best balance of teams. All the other three teams are good, so we’ll have our challenges. But I’m really hopeful about this team.”

It’s still far too early to size up New England’s 2023 draft class and whether or not they can make an immediate impact on the field this fall. But last month, Kraft said on NFL Network that New England was able to select all seven players that they initially tabbed on their draft board.


“I was thinking, draft day, at the end of draft day, my eldest son Jonathan and I were chatting and I said, ‘This was a great, great draft. I’m really optimistic about the team,’” Kraft said. “And he said, ‘Dad, you do that every year. You say that every year.’ But I really believe it.

“We were able to get the top seven picks that we had identified before the draft. I think it gives us a good balance of what our needs are. I think our free agent pickups, and getting (offensive coordinator) Bill O’Brien in, will make a big difference and I’m very hopeful for the team.”

Bill O’Brien’s steadying influence on an offensive unit marred by dysfunction in 2022 should help New England make a push for the playoffs this fall, especially if Mac Jones rebounds from a poor sophomore campaign.

Even if the Patriots make major strides in 2023, there is no guarantee that the team pushes further up in the standings, especially when factoring in other tough matchups against the Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, and more.


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