The New England Patriots just missed out on the postseason, finishing the year 8-9. While the defense was able to get the job done for the most part, their season was undone by inconsistent performance on offense.
The Patriots ranked 11th in points allowed and eighth in yardage, but 17th in points scored and 26th in yardage gained. Mac Jones taking a step back as a sophomore certainly didn’t help the situation as the team did look more explosive with rookie Bailey Zappe running the show.
This offseason, the Patriots will assuredly be looking to add more talent to the mix on offense. New England’s backfield is in good hands with Rhamondre Stevenson taking over the lead back role, but they need more than that as he led the team in receptions as well.
The Patriots have already been connected to DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals, who is reportedly being put on the trade block by the team. He would be a massive upgrade to their wide receiver group, putting everyone else into roles they are better suited for.
Another avenue the team could explore is upgrading at the tight end spot. They spent lavishly two offseason ago when signing Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, but they haven’t had as big of an impact as the team would have hoped for. That is partly why one NFL scout that spoke to NFL Analysis Network believes that the team could target Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
“There is a guy I think that Bill Belichick would love to have in the first round. That guy is Notre Dame tight end, Michael Mayer. New England loves the idea of his fit with Mac Jones and views him as a potential Rob Gronkowski 2.0 kind of impact piece.”
If there is a team that knows how to get the most out of the tight end position it is the Patriots. They were steamrolling teams using multi-tight end sets led by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez from 2010-2012. During that stretch, they finished first twice and third once in points scored.
It is something that they have tried to replicate in the following years but have been unable to do. Mayer would be a nice first step in getting back to those roots as one of the more highly rated tight end prospects in recent years.