The New England Patriots hope to have replenished their offense during the 2022 NFL Draft.
Given Bill Belichick’s affinity for trading down, the Patriots made 10 selections over the three-day event in Las Vegas. Seven, including first-round selection Cole Strange, play on offense.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted that New England has never selected more offensive players in a single draft since Belichick took over as head coach in 2000.
Along with Strange, the Patriots selected offensive linemen Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber in the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively. They also took wide receiver Tyquan Thompson in the second, quarterback Bailey Zappe in the fourth, and running backs Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris in the fourth and sixth.
Reiss also pointed out that it’s an older draft class than usual, in part because of the NCAA awarding players an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Strange is among four of their selections already aged 24 or older.
“Once you start getting to some of these older players, it’s a factor that you keep in mind, and I think the position plays a factor in that,” Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh told Reiss. “But I don’t think there’s that big of a difference between some of those age groups that we’re talking about.”
Along with taking another quarterback a year after selecting Mac Jones, New England picking two more rushers is also noteworthy. The team already has two recent draft picks atop the depth chart in Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.
The Athletic’s Ben Baldwin found that no organization has invested more capital on running backs than Belichick’s Patriots in the past five drafts.