11 free agents Patriots need to circle back to after the NFL Draft

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LT Donovan Smith

One of the most concerning parts of the Patriots' offensive roster after the draft is the absence of what most believe is a true left tackle. Instead of selecting one of the top prospects in this year's class, Mayo and Wolf took a chance with Caedan Wallace, who has experience as a right guard and right tackle.

The hope is he can transition to the left side, which the staff believe he is more than equipped to do hence the selection. But regardless of what they think could work, it's a risky move and we won't know how well Wallace will fare until he's in a game.

Because of that, it would make sense to add a trusted left tackle to the roster. Although they intend to use Chukwuma Okorafor there, there seems to be enough reason to add another experienced player to the lineup. So why not Donovan Smith?

He is a nine-year veteran who spent eight seasons with the Bucs before winning a Super Bowl with the Chiefs last season. The 30-year-old spent the year protecting Patrick Mahomes on 748 offensive snaps, allowing just two sacks and seven hurries in 12 games.

Smith might not fit the mold of "draft and develop," as Wolf prefers, but with an entirely new offense in the works that could be led by a rookie quarterback at some point during the season, adding a player who has protected two of the best quarterbacks in league history to win two Super Bowls feels like a no-brainer.

WR Michael Thomas

One of the more risky signings on this list would be bringing in Michael Thomas, who played the most games last season since 2019 due to several season-ending injuries. The once highly touted receiver was well on his way to being the best in the league, only to have it completely derailed by catching the injury bug and spending more time on the sidelines than on the field.

Although he only played in ten games for the Saints in 2023, he still managed to record 39 receptions for 448 yards and a touchdown working with Derek Carr, who is not exactly a great quarterback.

Because of what he was able to accomplish despite the unfavorable circumstances, Thomas is an interesting player to consider for the Patriots lineup.

We've seen what he is capable of doing when he's 100% healthy, like leading the league in receptions (149) and receiving yards (1,725) in 2019. If given the chance, he could revert to the player he once was. We won't know that until he takes the field, but it could make the risk worth it in the long run.