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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed May 29 - 04:00 PM | Thu May 30 - 09:55 AM

Patriots Unfiltered's 2024 Draft Forecast

 Patriots Unfiltered offers some quick-hitters on the 2024 draft with picks, predictions and more.

NFL Draft Stage Pats Draft Patriots Draft The Pick is In 20210430AD_DOS37176-cropped

What do you consider to be the Patriots biggest need heading into the 2024 NFL draft?

The answer is quarterback, and it's not close. Yes, the Patriots have other needs at wide receiver and offensive tackle. However, you're nothing without a quarterback. Jacoby Brissett is here to mentor and keep the seat warm, but they have no long-term answer at the most important position. – Evan Lazar

Really? It's no secret the Patriots need slot corner help. Just kidding. We are all hoping the Patriots draft the quarterback of the future. – Fred Kirsch

I think the Patriots biggest need heading into the draft is quarterback. Hitting on their next signal caller could give New England's offense that has been lifeless the last three seasons a pulse. – Tamara Brown

While I'd like to say finding a quarterback of the future, I think the basic level is that they need some offensive studs. So even if they were to miss out on one of the top three QBs, I still think they can take some significant steps forward if they're able to add a bookend tackle and a wide receiver who will require attention from the defense. Ultimately the Patriots future depends on when they're able to land a quarterback but no matter what happens in this draft, it's a process that will require patience. – Mike Dussault

Basically offense. Understanding that quarterback is the key and is the most important piece, the Patriots need help at receiver and tackle as well. But quarterback trumps all. – Paul Perillo

Will the Patriots trade up, down or sit tight at 3 in the first round?

Although there's tons of smoke, I ultimately think the Patriots will stick and pick the top QB on their board at three. Mainly, I don't feel as though there will be a justifiable offer to trade down. With this being the first major move for the new regime, they can only sell a trade down to the fan base if it's truly an undeniable godfather offer. I'm not seeing that with four starting-caliber QB prospects available (Maye, McCarthy, Penix and Nix). – EL

Trading up would be one of the all-time draft day shockers, at least in these parts. Trading down would come with too a hefty price for teams unless there is an established player coming this way in the deal. Patriots sit tight and draft a QB. – FK

The Patriots will sit tight at three with conviction and make a historical pick for their next franchise quarterback. You can't roll the dice on the chance to pick this high again to select a quarterback. The opportunity is presenting itself and the Patriots won't be settling whether it's Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels available. – TB

I think sit tight and take a quarterback. All signs are pointing that way and it makes the most sense unless they're able to get an obscene trade haul that results in multiple first-round picks over the next two seasons. – MD

Ultimately this comes down to how much input the various individuals involved actually have. If it's really a collaborative effort it would be hard to imagine several people agreeing on a pick. In that case, I believe a trade down would be in play. I could see Eliot Wolf rolling the dice by believing a quarterback (McCarthy, Penix) will be available later on, and adding picks would make the gamble worthwhile. – PP

Assuming they stay at 3, who will the Patriots select?

Drake Maye. It's been a long road to grandma's house. But the tools are special for Maye, and the Pats have time for him to develop behind the scenes if necessary. – EL

Please sir, Maye I have another? – FK

I'll go with Drake Maye. – TB

Drake Maye. – MD

Hate to make this unanimous but (Justin Timberlake voice): "It's gonna be Maye." – PP

Assuming the Patriots select a wide receiver at some point, when and who will it be?

Although protection is important, the Patriots seem to like their offensive line more than we do. Mainly, their tackle tandem of Chuks Okorafor (LT) and Mike Onwenu (RT). For those reasons, I'm expecting them to draft a Day 1impact receiver at the top of the second round. My board there would include Adonai Mitchell, Xavier Legette or Ladd McConkey. – EL

With the second pick in the second round, the Patriots should have a decent selection from which to choose depending on how long the run goes in the first. I've had my eye on Ladd McConkey out of Georgia for a long time. He had an injury-filled 2023 but he should still be around the fifth to 10th receiver taken. AD Mitchell is another 4.3/4.4 guy who could be available at 34. Later in the draft, maybe the fifth round, Johnny Wilson of Florida State needs more work but standing at 6-6, he intrigues me. – FK

I would like the Patriots to be aggressive and trade up from pick 68 and pick a receiver in the second round. With most of the elite receivers likely going in the first round, they don't want to be picking from the crumbs in the third round when they need more gamechangers on offense. If they could draft Xavier Legette out of South Carolina or Keon Coleman from Florida State they will be in good shape. – TB

Unfortunately for me I think this is the need that I'm waiting until the third round for, unless they want to get back up into the second. Quarterback and tackle should be the priorities but there are good options at receiver on Day 2. Brenden Rice, Ja'Lynn Polk and Malachi Corley are a few favorites of mine in that range. – MD

There are a lot of interesting options that should be available on Day 2 like Xavier Leggette, Ricky Pearsall and Malachi Corley but my favorite of that bunch is Troy Franklin out of Oregon. Big play guy with some versatility to his game. – PP

In which order should the Patriots make their first three picks?

I'd say quarterback, receiver, tackle. Although there's a drop-off at tackle, I like the developmental options there since they seem comfortable with Okorafor on the left side. Blake Fisher, Brandon Coleman, and Roger Rosengarten could be options at 68. – EL

QB, WR, OT. I could also see double-dipping at WR for picks 2 and 3 but the need at OT is a big one. – FK

Quarterback, tackle, wide receiver. I'm sure it won't be that clean but that's how I line up their needs and the depth at those positions in this draft class. – MD

In my view the order of needs is QB, T, WR but I would try to stick to the board and take the better available option in rounds 2 and 3. With that in mind I'd go with a QB followed by a pair of WRs in rounds 2 and 3. – PP

Will the Patriots execute a trade involving players this weekend?

No. I'm holding out hope they'll make a splash for Brandon Aiyuk or someone along those lines. But my guess is that won't happen. – EL

My guess is no but having the second pick in the second round might be tempting for a team to offer the Patriots someone worth considering. – FK

I don't predict the Patriots executing a trade involving players but if they did, I would start with former second-round pick Tyquan Thornton, who hasn't worked out in New England but has potential to turn his career around. – TB

I'm going to say no. I don't think they have assets to move and my preference is to invest in the draft, as much as I'd be on board with getting A.J. Brown (which is not going to happen). – MD

Like everyone else I'd love to make a splash with an established receiver but that will be tough to execute. I could see a minor deal involving JuJu Smith-Schuster, similar to the one that sent DeVante Parker to the Eagles earlier in the offseason. – PP

Regardless of round, which player will be a Patriot at the end of the weekend?

A Catch-22/Alex Barth shoutout: Pitt WR Bud Means. Means is well connected to the Patriots with assistant WRs coach Tiquan Underwood now on the staff. Underwood was at Pittsburgh last season and coached Means. – EL

Christian Mahogany from Boston College can really lay the lumber from his guard position. With some coaching, he could be Pro Bowler. He could go as high as the third round, making him unavailable for the Patriots after that. My backup for this question is Eric Watts, edge player out of UConn. Everything I read about him talks about violent hands. Let's get violent, baby! – FK

Ladd McConkey will be a Patriot by the end of the weekend. – TB

Putting on my Holy Cross Crusaders hat here and picking Jalen Coker, a Day 3 receiver with a 42.5-inch vertical that makes him a contested catch nightmare. – MD

Some local flavor here with UNH's Dylan Laube. He's a pass-catching running back with tremendous production and with some development could be worth a look. – PP

In three years, who will be considered the best player to come from the 2024 draft?

USC QB Caleb Williams and LSU WR Malik Nabers
USC QB Caleb Williams and LSU WR Malik Nabers

Caleb Williams has some ball security and timing issues in the pocket to clean up. But his arm talent is as good as I've seen entering the league. I believe Caleb will be a star in the league. – EL

Two players that have remained consistent blue-chippers throughout this process are Joe Alt and Marvin Harrison Jr. With the depth of good receivers already in the league and in this draft, I'll say Alt stands out. Plus, his soon-to-be nickname will be a rare one that is longer than his actual name: "Alt-Control-Delete." – FK

In three years, the best player from the 2024 NFL draft will be Malik Nabers. – TB

Malik Nabers. I think he will be a game-changing receiver for whichever team grabs him, hopefully in the NFC. – MD

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest: Caleb Williams. The projected No. 1 overall pick has the multi-faceted skill set to thrive and once he acclimates to the NFL the sky is the limit. – PP

Name a sleeper pick you love and why?

WR Jordan Whittington from Texas. Tough as nails, crafty route runner, great hands and good with the ball in his hands as a former running back. He would be getting more buzz if the class wasn't so deep. – EL

In today's pass-happy NFL, linebackers who can cover and stay on the field on third down are hard to find. If he gets good coaching, Michael Barrett out of Michigan might get a chance to show that rare blend of hitting and coverage skills. He's a little undersized at 5-11, but he's a solid 233 lbs., and is as quick a linebacker as you'll see. – FK

A sleeper pick I love, not necessarily for the Patriots, is quarterback Spencer Rattler. Rattler's toolbelt is impressive and with the right pieces around him he could be a very intriguing prospect in the NFL. He was a star coming out of high school with high expectations in college that didn't pan out for a variety of reasons but he has the arm talent and legs to raise some eyebrows in the NFL. – TB

Sione Vaki. Maybe he just ends up a special teamer in the NFL but he played in all three phases and played well in college and just seems like the ultimate kind of Patriot, at least in terms of what we've seen them select over the past 20 years. That could change this year with a new regime in place. – MD

Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice – Yes he's Christian's brother (and Ed's son) which gives him great bloodlines. After astop at Nebraska where he spent three seasons playing quarterback before making the transition to receiver, the 6-2, 200-pounder produced in the slot for both the Cornhuskers and Owls. He'd be a solid Day 3 option. – PP

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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