This will be a busy offseason for the New England Patriots as they have more holes to fill on their roster than almost every other team in the NFL. Making a list of positions that don't need an upgrade would be an easier task, but got to start somewhere.
The Patriots have their new head coach in Jerod Mayo, and it will be the first offseason with new decision-makers in charge instead of Bill Belichick. One of the most important factors that will determine the success of the Pats going forward will be the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Patriots have the third overall pick and a selection in every single round of the draft. Picking at the top of every round, New England will have a chance to build their roster from scratch through the draft. Let's dive into what the most pressing needs of the team are.
This is a no-brainer. Every other need can be left to free agency or next year, but the Pats need to try to find their next franchise QB in this year's draft. They simply can't enter another season with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at the helm.
Fortunately for New England, they will have some options. It's unlikely Caleb Williams will fall to them. Otherwise, Drake Maye would be an excellent choice as the consensus second-best QB in the class.
A rookie quarterback is certainly not going to solve all of New England's issues but it will set them on the right path. Landing a QB is the first building block of a long rebuild.
2. Wide Receiver
Assuming that the Patriots will almost certainly have a rookie quarterback, it's of utmost importance to surround him with as much talent as possible. The current receiver corps in New England certainly lacks that high-end talent.
There were occasional flashes from DeMario Douglas and Kendrick Bourne, but the Patriots lacked a reliable playmaker. It wouldn't be shocking if the Pats cleaned house in their wide receiver rotation. Drafting a wideout with their second-round pick makes a lot of sense to help kickstart the offensive transformation.
3. Offensive Line
Similar to needing to surround your rookie QB with talent, you also need to provide the best protection you possibly can. Loading up on stars in skill positions is appealing but the Patriots have some work to do in the trenches as well.
Two of the Patriots' premiere offensive linemen Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu might leave in the offseason as free agents. This will almost certainly create a big hole at tackle. It behooves the Patriots to bring in an athletic blocker via the draft.
4. Edge Rusher
Every decent team in the NFL needs multiple high-level edge rushers on the roster. Unfortunately for the Patriots, they have none.
Matt Judon is coming off a serious injury, and Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings are hitting free agency. Keion White is the only defensive end under contract beyond the 2024 season, leaving the Patriots thin at the position. Drafting one with a mid-round pick would be ideal.
5. Tight End
Let's give our rookie quarterback more weapons, because why not?
Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are free agents this offseason and no Patriots fans would be upset if the team brought neither back. Even if they choose to retain one of them, they are likely not the long-term solution at the position.
A tight end with good size who can block and be a passing option would do wonders for the new-look Patriots offense.