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Toucher & Hardy

Toucher & Hardy

Toucher & Hardy

The 2024 NFL combine will begin on Thursday, February 29th, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The New England Patriots currently have seven picks total, one in each round, which will likely change with trades before the end of the draft. After going 4-13, they hold the third overall pick and the second overall pick in the second round (34). This draft is significant for New England, especially with a new coaching staff in place. It appears Jerod Mayo won’t be attending, leaving it up to Elliott Wolf and his team to address many needs, particularly on offense.

 

2024 NFL Combine preview

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The NFL shield logo in the end zone during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

The offense ranked last in scoring alongside Carolina, with just 13.9 points per game, highlighting the need to address positions like quarterback, offensive line, wide receiver, and tight end, along with a relatively weak running back situation. Whether through free agency or the NFL Draft, changes are needed fast. Unless they trade back, quarterback should be option one, with speculation surrounding Marvin Harrison Jr. However, addressing the offensive line and skill positions can also be done effectively in later rounds, given the depth in talent. Let’s delve into some players to watch during the combine and draft process.

 

McConkey

NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 25: Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first quarter at Vanderbilt Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

 

You may already know some big names like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, and Brian Thomas Jr., who could all be gone in the top 20. Players like Keon Coleman from Florida State, Xavier Legette from South Carolina, and Adonai Mitchell from Texas might follow suit, potentially gone by pick 34. Let’s explore some options available later in round two and beyond.

WIDE RECEIVERS TO LOOK FOR AT NFL COMBINE:

  • Ladd McConkey | University of Georgia

    McConkey

    CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 04: Ladd McConkey #84 of the Georgia Bulldogs eludes Trenton Simpson #22 of the Clemson Tigers during the first half of the Duke’s Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    McConkey has solid size at 5’11” and 185lbs. He projects as a slot receiver in the NFL but can be versatile in his positioning. Despite a drop in statistics due to an ankle injury, McConkey’s route running is elite, boasting the lowest drop rate among all receivers in his class. He could be available when the Patriots pick in the third round.

  • Roman Wilson | University of Michigan

    Roman Wilson

    ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – SEPTEMBER 16: Roman Wilson #1 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after catching a touchdown pass in the first quarter of a game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Michigan Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

    Wilson had a standout senior season with 48 receptions and 12 touchdowns. He’s known for his fearlessness in catching passes in traffic, with good footwork and a willingness to go up for the ball. Like McConkey, he’ll need to work on his strength to stay healthy at the next level.

  • Xavier Worthy | University of Texas

    Xavier Worthy

    AUSTIN, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 12: Xavier Worthy #8 of the Texas Longhorns cannot catch a pass defended by Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs in the first quarter of the game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

     

    Worthy is a thin-bodied prospect but is expected to make waves at the combine, possibly running a sub 4.3 40-yard dash. He’s productive both as a receiver and a punt returner and is likely to be selected on day two of the draft.

  • Luke McCaffrey | Rice University

    Luke McCaffrey

    DALLAS, TEXAS – DECEMBER 26: Safety Shawn Holton #23 of the Texas State Bobcats tries to catch a pass intended for wide receiver Luke McCaffrey #10 of the Rice Owls in the second quarter at the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on December 26, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

     

    McCaffrey is versatile, transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver and excelling in his final season with 71 catches for 992 yards and 13 touchdowns. With his pedigree and skill set, McCaffrey could be a sleeper pick in rounds three or four.

  • Brenden Rice | University of California

    Brenden Rice

    TEMPE, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 23: Wide receiver Brenden Rice #2 of the USC Trojans catches a 43-yard touchdown reception against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half of the NCAAF game at Mountain America Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Brenden Rice is son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, had a breakout senior season with 12 touchdowns. While he needs to improve on playing to his size and release off the line of scrimmage, Rice’s athleticism and potential make him a day two or early day three prospect.

  • Troy Franklin | University of Oregon

    Troy Franklin

    STANFORD, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 30: Troy Franklin #11 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates after scoring on a five-yard pass play against the Stanford Cardinal in the third quarter at Stanford Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Stanford, California. Oregon won the game 42-6. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

    Troy Franklin had a productive sophomore season and followed up with an impressive junior year. With good size at 6’3″ and 181lbs, Franklin excels in downfield running but needs to work on his strength and route precision. He’s a potential second-round pick but may fall to the third round due to his boom-or-bust nature.

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