3 Small-School Steals the Patriots Can Draft in Late Rounds

The Patriots could find some small-school gems in the later rounds
Jalen Coker
Jalen Coker / Photo/Alan Arsenault / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The New England Patriots have eight picks in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft and while the majority of the attention will be on their first three picks (No. 3, No. 34, and No. 68), they can really speed up their rebuild if they hit on the late-round picks as well.

This is something they've done well in the past and there's no reason to think they'll be unable to now that Jerod Mayo has taken over as head coach. They're still a well-run organization and shouldn't be down long. Especially if they can land and develop one of these potential small-school steals.

3. Mason McCormick, G, South Dakota State

As far as "late-round" prospects go, Mason McCormick might go much earlier than expected.

The South Dakota State product started 57 games in a row after being a zero-star recruit. He played left guard for the Jackrabbits and was excellent in both pass protection and run blocking. He has a bit of a mean streak when blocking but also knows how to turn it off and not get flagged.

Over the past three seasons, McCormick surrendered just two sacks and 16 hurries — with no sacks and just three quarterback pressures attributed to him in 2023.

With Mac Jones now gone, the Patriots will be turning to a new quarterback. It's likely they find that player with the No. 3 overall pick and the best way to ensure a young signal-caller succeeds is to build up the line around him. Adding McCormick would help New England do exactly that.