On paper, the Patriots went into the first round of the 2018 draft looking like a team in desperate need of a defensive jolt. After all, the last time we saw that group, it was getting rolled in the Super Bowl by a backup quarterback. It only stood to reason New England would be in the market for linebacker depth, pass rush help or another body or two either on the back end or up front. Right?
But in hindsight, after hearing Belichick’s mantra from earlier this month — the Patriots don’t draft for need — no one should have been surprised to see New England go out and get two offensive players on Thursday. Instead of restocking the presumed area of need (defense), the Patriots took offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn at No. 23 overall and running back Sony Michel at No. 31, both out of Georgia, two players who could face an uphill battle for playing time in an offense that might be capable of scoring 25-plus points a game without them.
After the end of the first round, when he was asked about the decision, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio offered a straightforward response, reminding the media of Belichick’s statement.