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Hiller's New England Patriots 2024 Mock Draft 1.0

The NFL draft is eight days away, and the Patriots are speculated to grab their quarterback at No. 3 overall. The defense is going to be healthy, with cornerstone pieces Christian Gonzalez and Matthew Judon coming back after early-season injuries. That said, I believe most of the Patriots' eight picks will be used to draft offensive players, specifically quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive line, with the first couple of picks.

FYI: These picks are what I think the Patriots will do, not what I want them to do. There will also be no trades in this mock draft.

Draft Picks:

Round 1: Pick 3, Round 2: Pick 34, Round 3: Pick 68, Round 4: Pick 103, Round 5: Pick 137, Round 6: Pick 180, Round 6: Pick 193 (acquired from Jacksonville), Round 7: Pick 231 (acquired from Chicago)

Round 1: Pick 3 - Drake Maye, QB (UNC)

It is pretty much set in stone that Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels will be the first two picks in the 2024 draft. Drake Maye is the No. 3 QB in most analysts' rankings. Maye has a very talented arm, and his arm strength is on par with most NFL quarterbacks. Maye is an athletic QB who can use his legs to make plays, especially when the pocket is collapsing and nothing looks open. He makes a lot of off-schedule plays. That is a strength and a weakness of his. He makes too many poor decisions when the chaos comes, affecting his accuracy tremendously. His poor footwork resulted in an underwhelming 63.3 completion percentage.

In my opinion, I would have the Patriots take Marvin Harrison Jr. here and address the quarterback position with their second pick. I think the drop-off after Williams and Daniels is pretty significant, and they could wait on Nix or Penix with their second pick. If they drafted Drake Maye, he would have 0 offensive weapons, and there would be a great chance he would struggle.

Round 2: Pick 34- Keon Coleman, WR (FSU)

If the Patriots go quarterback with pick three, they have to go wide receiver here. They do not have a big jump ball option, but Keon Coleman would provide them with exactly that. 30 of his 90 targets were contested catch opportunities. That's an insane rate! To put that in perspective, Drake London had 26 contested catch opportunities in 2021 on 30 more targets (120). Because of his risk-taking play style, that is a dream come true for a rookie quarterback, especially Maye. Keon Coleman is falling slightly in the rankings just because this is such a loaded receiver class, but he is easily a first-round talent. The only knock on him is his 4.61 speed.

If they went with Harrison Jr. at No. 3, I would love to see Nix or Penix taken there.

Round 3: Pick 68- Patrick Paul, OT (Houston)

To build around a rookie quarterback, they need to make sure they have good tackle play, and Patrick Paul can be a piece of that puzzle. The 6'8, 330 lb. monster runs a 5.13 40-yard dash and has an 87-inch wingspan. He started in 2021, so he has a lot of experience. This year, Paul was a fifth-year senior. He played 777 snaps and allowed 6 QB hurries, one QB hit, and zero sacks while playing left tackle. His upside is through the roof, and he is worth a shot in round 3 if he is still available.

Round 4: Pick 103- Mike Sainristil, CB (Michigan)

There is a lot of buzz around Sainristil, so he may not be here at pick 103. But I can't see the Pats passing him up here if he is available here. They have a future stud in Gonzalez, but other than that, it's questionable. Jon Jones is getting up there in age, and then the 3rd spot is wide open. It's Marcus Jones right now, but I think they could upgrade there. Sainristil is similar to Marcus as he is 5'9, 180 lbs. Mike is an outstanding competitor and is the definition of heart over height. He is excellent in the run game and could play any position in the secondary as he is versatile. He'd probably be the best fit for the slot, though.

Round 5: Pick 137- Luke McCaffrey, WR (Rice)

The Patriots need new additions in that wide receiver room, and they snag another one in round 5 with Luke McCaffrey. The last name is not the only reason Luke is getting drafted. The QB turned WR totaled 58 receptions for 723 yards and six touchdowns in 2022. Then, after another year of receiver under his belt, he totaled 71 receptions for 992 yards and 13 touchdowns. That family is full of elite athletes, and Luke is next up. He excels in contested catch situations and has 4.46 speed.

Round 6: Pick 180- Ladarius Henderson, G/OT (Michigan)

Another Michigan player off the board here for the Patriots. New England's offensive line is all over the place, so they need versatile players that can play multiple positions. That is precisely what Ladarius Henderson brings to the table. He played at Arizona State from 2019-2022, starting 19 games at left guard and 10 at left tackle. When he transferred to Michigan in '23, he started 10 games at left tackle for the national champs.

Round 6: Pick 193- Javontae Jean-Baptiste, DE (Notre Dame)

Javontae was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school and has seen playing action since 2019. He played at Ohio State from 2019-2022 before transferring to Notre Dame in 2023. At Notre Dame this past season, he totaled 28 tackles, 13 assists, 28 stops, 38 pressures, 10 QB hits, and five sacks. He has some speed off the edge with a 4.6 40 and a spectacular spin move.

Round 7: Pick 231- Jacob Monk, C/G (Duke)

With David Andrews getting older, it can't hurt to take a flier on a center with their last pick. Monk is also a very versatile player, as he spent 2019 at right tackle, 2020-2021 at right guard, and 2022-2023 at center. He is 6'3, 310 lbs. and runs a 5.09 40-yard dash. Athletic player with some upside worth taking the chance on.

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