4 Patriots Who Will Lose Their Roster Spot to a Rookie in the NFL Draft

After the 2023 season was nothing short of a disaster, the New England Patriots are in dire need of change this offseason. That's why they must replace these four players with rookies in the NFL Draft.

Mac Jones is one of four Patriots who'll lose his roster spot to a rookie in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Mac Jones is one of four Patriots who'll lose his roster spot to a rookie in the 2024 NFL Draft. / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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2. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

A lot of Patriots left fans wanting more this season, including JuJu Smith-Schuster. The veteran wideout had signed a three-year, $33 million contract with New England last offseason after helping the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl 57, leaving the Pats fans hoping he could be a reliable target for Jones for the foreseeable future.

But instead of looking like a legitimate threat, Smith-Schuster was as productive as a summer snowplow. The former USC Trojan finished his seventh campaign with a career-worst 260 yards and one touchdown on 29 receptions. Sure, he only played 11 games due to injury, but his putrid 23.6 receiving yards per game showcases just how underwhelming he was.

After just one season with the Patriots, Smith-Schuster is a potential cap casualty this season. Although Spotrac already lists the Pats as having over $73.9 million in cap space, an additional $5 million can be opened up if they trade the 27-year-old before June 1 or $7.6 million after that date.

Assuming the Patriots move on from him, I can easily see Smith-Schuster being replaced by a rookie. New England owns a pair of top-34 picks, meaning they could replace him with an elite playmaker like Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 3 or perhaps someone like Troy Franklin or Ladd McConkey in Round 2.