New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 17: New England Patriots helmets on the bench at Gillette Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots have a lot of work to do. Perhaps too much to fix everything in one draft.

Odds are, the Pats aren’t going to hit on every high draft pick, let alone the whole class. But their needs on offense are so glaring, so immediate, that they have to try to revamp the group at every key spot. That will be the focus of this seven-round Patriots mock draft.

MORE: Patriots free agency tracker

For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to stay at each draft slot without trading. Every selection is realistically projected to go in the range of where the Patriots pick, based on the consensus big board of mock drafts across the internet.

With that in mind, let’s get to it. Here’s our latest Patriots mock draft for 2024…

Round 1, Pick 3:
QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 28: Drake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks to pass against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

UNC quarterback Drake Maye will be a popular mock draft pick for the Patriots. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The longer we’ve gone, the more it’s felt like LSU’s Jayden Daniels has jumped UNC’s Drake Maye and will be headed to the Washington Commanders at No. 2. So, with the third pick, the Patriots grab who they hope will be their franchise quarterback of the future.

Maye checks off a lot of traits that give him elite potential. He has prototypical size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds), big-enough hands (9 1/8 inches), adequate mobility in and out of the pocket, and the arm talent to make NFL-caliber throws at all levels of the field. He was also a team captain as a freshman and was named a weekly captain for five games as a sophomore, and his former Tar Heel teammates have praised his leadership skills.

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That being said, it would be a mistake for the Patriots to start Maye too soon. Physically, he has to build more consistent footwork, which would in turn lead to more consistent accuracy. Mentally, he could stand to improve his decision-making and cut back on turnover-worthy plays. So, it would be sensible to start Jacoby Brissett while Maye takes time to develop, even if the Pats have to languish through some mediocre-or-worse football.

But Maye’s raw talent is for real, and he projects as a strong leader, so there’s potential to mold him into a star if they develop him the right way. If and when he gets drafted, his development will become the most important thing for the organization.

  • Round 2, Pick 34:
    OT Patrick Paul, Houston

    Sep 30, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars offensive tackle Patrick Paul (76) in the second half during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Patrick Paul (Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

    It’s tough to get a lot out of your passing game without pass protection. The Patriots need a long-term answer at left tackle, and ideally, that’s where Paul would come in.

    Paul is a mountain (6-foot-7, 331 pounds) with more than the requisite tackle arm length at 36 1/4 inches, and he’s a good athlete who has consistently projected as a top day-2 pick at tackle. He was second in the bench press among all offensive tackles at the Combine (30 reps), so there’s plenty of raw power.

    The Houston product should start on the Patriots from day 1 and immediately be an effective pass blocker. He’ll need to work on his run blocking, as the Pats are expected to run the ball a lot under new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt. But he does have enough physical traits that it’s reasonable to expect improvement in those areas.

  • Round 3, Pick 68:
    WR Devontez Walker, North Carolina

    CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 14: Devontez Walker #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels breaks away from  Kamren Kinchens #5 of the Miami Hurricanes for a touchdown during the second half of their game at Kenan Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2023 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 41-31. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    Devontez Walker (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

    The Patriots join a growing trend of pairing quarterbacks with their college teammates at wide receiver. “Tez” Walker was a go-to big play target for Maye at UNC, and that should have a good chance to continue if and when they’re hooked up in the pros.

    Walker has good size at 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, and the speed to separate down the field (4.36 in the 40-yard dash). He’s an ideal fit as a deep outside receiver in a West Coast offense, which the Patriots will generally run under Van Pelt. And obviously, he fills a huge need.

    On the Patriots, Walker should be at or near the top of the receiver depth chart the second he steps on the field. His physical traits give him a chance to become a true No. 1 wideout, and he’d have instant chemistry with his quarterback. His unrefined route-running may ultimately make him a pure vertical threat, but Patriots fans starved for explosive plays should be excited.

  • Round 4, Pick 103:
    WR Jalen McMillan, Washington

    Sep 9, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Jalen McMillan (11) extends the ball out for a receiving touchdown against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane during the second quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Jalen McMillan (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

    The Patriots double-dip at arguably their biggest position of need. McMillan played a “big slot” role at Washington and projects as such in the NFL, at 6-foot-1 and 197 pounds. He has the size, speed, and route-running ability to make big plays from the inside, but could also develop into a starting “Z” receiver on the perimeter.

    Scouts seem concerned about McMillan’s ability to get off press-man coverage, which is part of the reason why he’s projected as a late-third, early-fourth-round pick. But he’d make for a good target for Maye, who excels at throwing over the middle of the field.

  • Round 5, Pick 137:
    OT Roger Rosengarten, Washington

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 23: Roger Rosengarten #73 of the Washington Huskies in action against the California Golden Bears at Husky Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Roger Rosengarten (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Another double-dip. McMillan’s teammate played right tackle at Washington, which means he has experience as a blindside protector, blocking for the left-handed Michael Penix Jr. He has decent tackle size at 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, and good-enough arm length at 33 1/2 inches.

    Rosengarten is known as a good athlete with fluid footwork, which could make him a good run-blocker early in his career. There are concerns about his overall play strength, so he may need to improve in that department to develop into a consistent NFL starter. But the presence of Michael Onwenu and a higher draft pick at tackle could give him the time he needs.

  • Round 6, Pick 180:
    TE Tip Reiman, Illinois

    CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 12: Tip Reiman #89 of the Illinois Fighting Illini runs the ball during the first half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    Tip Reiman (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

    The Patriots are fairly set at tight end for 2024 with Hunter Henry and free-agent addition Austin Hooper, but they could also use a good blocker to back them up. Reiman is a BIG boy at 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, and he’s known for his in-line run blocking.

    As far as catching the ball? Reiman is closer to Michael Hoomanawanui than Rob Gronkowski. But he did test well at the Combine, so perhaps he has some untapped potential, and his blocking could make him an immediate contributor in the NFL if he lands in the right situation. The rebuilding Patriots and Van Pelt’s offense feel like a good fit.

  • Round 6, Pick 193:
    CB Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn

    Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American defensive back Nehemiah Pritchett of Auburn (1) works through drills during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Nehemiah Pritchett (Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports)

    The Mac Jones pick from the Jaguars becomes the first 2024 draft selection to address the defense. New England has a sneaky need at outside cornerback, so it would be prudent to add someone with workable traits to the depth chart.

    Pritchett is unlikely to become a day 1 starter at corner, if ever. But he ran an excellent 40-yard dash at 4.36 seconds, fourth among cornerbacks, and has solid size and length for a perimeter player. He’ll be a developmental prospect worthy of a day-3 pick for a team looking to add depth and upside to the secondary.

  • Round 7, Pick 231:
    EDGE Cedric Johnson, Mississippi

    Oct 28, 2023; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive linemen Cedric Johnson (2) during the second half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

    Cedric Johnson (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)

    To finish off this mock draft, the Patriots address a sneaky long-term need at edge rusher with Johnson. At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Johnson projects as a protoypical outside linebacker at the NFL level, and he has good-enough play strength to potentially make plays against both the run and the pass.

    That said, Johnson needs to work on his techniques and pass-rush moves to take his game to another level. He’d have a good stable of edge defenders to learn under in Matthew Judon and Josh Uche. Johnson is a worthy gamble for a Patriots team that could be rebuilding at the position soon.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content.

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