Patriots 7-Round Mock Draft 1.0: Building an Offense From Scratch

The New England Patriots are staring down a total rebuild this offseason, and that begins with an offense-heavy approach in the 2024 NFL Draft.
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Round 2 (No. 34 Overall): Devontez Walker, Wide Receiver, North Carolina

I know it might seem gimmicky to pair your elite quarterback with his top college wideout, but it has worked out okay for Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase so far.

And it's not like Tez Walker would be a reach here, or like he wouldn't be a great pick regardless of which quarterback we selected in the first round.

The NFL has shown us time and again how much you need to surround a young QB with talent (you don't even look to look beyond the AFC East and the development arcs of Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa), and the Patriots must immediately support their new franchise QB in a way that they never did for Mac Jones.

Top receivers available with this pick will likely include Walker, Ladd McGonkey, Emeke Egbuka, Keon Coleman, Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Legette. And for my money, Walker is the best of the bunch even before factoring in the Maye connection.

After lighting up the MAC with Kent State in 2022, Walker continued to ball out in the ACC, recording 41 catches for 699 yards in just 8 games in 2023.

Walker has a really "modern WR" game. A lot of fans still get stuck in evaluating WR prospects in the traditional sense. Looking for a big-body Dez Bryant type guy or an underneath route runner.

Walker is a little raw when it comes to route running, and he doesn't necessarily use his big frame to its full potential.

But he's absolutely explosive with the ball in his hands, meaning he's a serious threat on screens, jet sweeps, RPOs and other short passes. That makes a young quarterback's life very easy.

And he does also possess some downfield skills that showcase real potential there too. He has a great catch radius, tracks the ball well and can adjust to mis-thrown balls. Again, those are traits that go a long way to helping a young quarterback thrive.