Patriots Eyeing Signing at Key Position After Trio of Workouts

The New England Patriots worked out a few tight ends ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo answers questions
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo answers questions / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots haven’t made many splash offensive signings this offseason after entering free agency with a lot of cap space. However, fans hope the team will get a few more playmakers in the NFL draft this week, along with a potential franchise quarterback.

But before we can look ahead to the 2024 NFL draft on Thursday, the Patriots are still doing their due diligence in free agency, working out players to see if they can add a couple to the 90-man roster.

Howard Balzer reported over the weekend that New England worked out tight ends Brycen Hopkins, Sean McKeon, and Mitchell Wilcox on Friday. As things currently stand, the Patriots have three tight ends on their roster – Hunter Henry, Austin Hooper, and LaMichael Pettway.

Patriots Rumors: New England Looking to Add Another Tight End

Earlier this offseason, New England re-signed Henry to a three-year, $27 million extension and signed Hooper to a one-year, $3 million deal as a replacement for Mike Gesicki.

That said, New England could add another tight end to compete with Pettway in free agency or through the draft. Among the three tight ends they worked out, Wilcox offers the most upside as a pass-catcher.

Over his short stint in the NFL, the former Cincinnati Bengals tight end has 29 receptions (35 targets) for 211 yards and a touchdown across 48 games. Last season for the Bengals, Wilcox played in all 17 games but started in four. He only had nine receptions (12 targets) for 56 yards.

Meanwhile, Hopkins, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, has produced 13 receptions (19 targets) for 196 yards in 39 career games. 

Finally, McKeon was an undrafted free agent like Wilcox and has spent the last three years with the Dallas Cowboys. The veteran tight end has posted six receptions (11 targets) for 38 yards and a touchdown across 45 games.

If the Patriots do not draft a tight end later this week, do not be surprised if one of these tight ends gets signed by the team.

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