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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Jaillet

Patriots go heavy on offense in ESPN’s latest three-round mock draft

Multiple players have been mocked to the New England Patriots over the last few weeks in anticipation of the upcoming 2024 NFL draft.

ESPN’s Field Yates and Mel Kiper Jr. put a three-round mock draft together, with Kiper taking New England’s third overall pick and Yates taking the second (No. 34) and third-round (No. 68) picks for the organization.

Quarterback has been a position of focus for the Patriots throughout the pre-draft process. Wide receiver has been an area identified as a need as well.

Kiper has New England selecting North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye third overall, while Yates has the team taking Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman 34th overall and UNC wide receiver Devontez Walker at No. 68.

The Patriots have been connected with both Maye and Walker, as they attended their pro day.

Kiper made his case for Maye with the organization’s first draft selection:

I don’t see the Patriots trading back, even if they have needs at several other positions. Taking Maye secures their future at the NFL’s most important position.

Yates took the offensive approach to the draft and gave his reasoning for taking two wide receivers with back-to-back picks:

Yes, I already gave Keon Coleman to the Patriots in Round 2. But I’m double-dipping at wide receiver — and setting up Drake Maye with a familiar target in Walker, whose length and speed would help open up this offense.

New England needs top-tier talent at both the quarterback and wide receiver positions. Double-dipping at receiver makes sense, especially if Maye’s college teammate is still on the board. Surrounding the franchise quarterback with playmakers is extremely important, and it isn’t something the team did under the previous regime.

These selections would immediately ignite the offense, as the Patriots need to catch up with the rest of the AFC. Time will tell what they do, but this would certainly be a good starting point.

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