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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7. Sixth Round (193rd Overall): Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee

Drake Maye appears to have gotten a quick "welcome to the NFL" moment where job security is never guaranteed, as the Patriots take Tennessee QB Joe Milton III in the sixth round. New England acquired the 193rd pick when they traded Mac Jones to Jacksonville last month, and they now turn around and use that pick on another quarterback, hedging their bets.

Grade: A

Milton has earned the nickname "Bazooka" due to his incredible arm strength. He began his career with the Michigan Wolverines, appearing in 16 games across three seasons before transferring to Tennessee. He earned the starting role in 2021, but was supplanted by Hendon Hooker after Milton was injured during their second game of the season. Hooker remained the starter in 2022 after the Vols went 11-2, so the 2023 campaign was the only true evaluation of Milton.

In 2023, Milton completed 64.5% of his passes for 2.769 yards and 20 touchdowns, while throwing 5 interceptions. He also added 292 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground.

Some have tried to frame the drafting of Milton as a slight on Drake Maye. That's nonsense. The Patriots drafted Zappe only a year after Mac Jones, and they drafted quarterbacks consistently throughout Tom Brady's tenure. You don't want to be caught in a vulnerable spot at the most important position in sports, and that's all that the Patriots are doing here.

But whatever way you slice it, things aren't looking good for Bailey Zappe.