Grading The 2024 New England Patriots Draft

The Patriots made eight selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. Let's grade them all.
Apr 26, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner (L) Robert Kraft and president
Apr 26, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots owner (L) Robert Kraft and president / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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Coming into this weekend, what the Patriots were able to do this weekend would play a heavy hand in dictating the future of the franchise - for better or for worse.

The post-Tom Brady era has been pretty ugly. The Patriots have missed the playoffs in three of the last four seasons. The Bill Belichick regime has been toppled, and only the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals have a worse record than New England over the past two seasons. Would the Patriots be able to turn things around? Or are New England fans destined for things to get worse before they get better?

It was also the first draft of the post-Bill Belichick era, with many lingering questions about how de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and the new brain trust would approach the draft. The team held their highest draft pick in over three decades, and were in dire need of resetting the quarterback position. Would we see JUCO long snappers, or would the names read on-stage in Detroit perhaps be a slightly more familiar to the fanbase?

Entering the draft, there were a lot of questions. Would New England trade down from the third overall pick? What would that trade package look like? What quarterback were they most enamored with? Did the needs that the front office identified match the upgrades that the fanbase also desired? All of those questions have been answered. The question that hasn't been answered: Are these kids any good? Only time will tell.

Across the three days of the 2024 NFL Draft, New England made eight selections. Here are the eight new Patriots after the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft, and the grades for each respective pick.

Overall Draft Grade: B+

1. First Round (3rd Overall): Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The headliner of New England's 2024 draft class, the Patriots identified their quarterback of the future when they selected Drake Maye with the third overall pick.

Grade: A

The Patriots were in desperate need of a franchise quarterback after whiffing on Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in 2020. Jones was shipped to the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason for only a sixth-round pick, leaving New England with veteran Jacoby Brissett, Bailey Zappe, and Nathan Rourke as the quarterbacks on the roster. It was not exactly a murderer's row of a quarterback room going forward.

Quarterback is the most important position in sports, and checking the box at that position is essential to the Patriots' rebuild. Drafting a position other than quarterback in the first round should have been a fireable offense for Eliot Wolf.

Maye is a prime candidate to redshirt for a season and develop behind the scenes, which will likely be the case after New England reunited with Brissett in free agency.

Ultimately, the Patriots didn't overthink the pick and tried to get cute (i.e. over-drafting J.J. McCarthy at three). They set a firm trade value for the third overall pick and held their ground when no team met that value. They got a promising prospect and arguably the second-best QB in the draft, while also having the infrastructure in place to allow Maye to sit for a season after signing Brissett. It's an A.