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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3. CB J.C. Jackson

Compared to other sports, trades are fairly infrequent in the NFL. That's why Patriots fans were caught off guard when the franchise acquired cornerback J.C. Jackson (and a 2025 seventh-rounder) from the Los Angeles Chargers in exchange for a 2025 sixth-round selection.

Jackson, 28, had begun his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the Patriots in 2018. He stuck around for four seasons and was even named All-Pro second-team in 2021 before signing a massive five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Chargers in March 2022.

Unfortunately, Jackson showed that he's no longer the player New England fans once remembered. He saw 51 targets across eight games (6 starts) with the Patriots, surrendering 29 completions for 394 yards and four touchdowns. The 107.8 passer rating he allowed following the trade would've ranked second-best among QBs who made at least 10 starts.

In other words, any quarterback who targeted Jackson had a better success rate than the likes of Patrick Mahomes (92.6), Lamar Jackson (105.9), and Dak Prescott (105.9). That isn't exactly a recipe for defensive success.

The good news is that the Pats can completely rid themselves of Jackson's $14.3 million cap hit by releasing him after June 1.

The Patriots were a top-10 team against the pass in 2023 and if they want to continue that success this fall, replacing Jackson with a cheaper, more effective rookie options is the best idea.