3 draft picks Patriots got right and 2 moves they will regret

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There were very high expectations placed on the Patriots for the 2024 Draft, and for the most part, they put together a solid rookie class. The new staff prioritized improving the offense, fulfilling their promise to do so, and addressed nearly every position that needed to be improved.

They seemingly picked their quarterback of the future, added two explosive receivers for him to work with, brought in some exciting prospects to protect him on the offensive line, and even picked a tight end with their last pick, who was projected to go much higher.

Despite all the success they appeared to have accomplished, the team made a few decisions they might regret later.

Three draft picks the Patriots got right in 2024

Draft pick the Patriots got right: Drake Maye

It's hard to argue that drafting your presumed next franchise quarterback is a bad idea. Thus, it will continue to be labeled a good decision until proven otherwise.

The team took advantage of their draft placement and took one of the top three quarterback prospects of the class, with some believing they got the second-best player of the group. It was the right move for the Patriots with their position, and they should be judged for such.

The assumption is the Drake Maye experience will be far better than what happened through three seasons with Mac Jones, and given that new head coach Jerod Mayo was there during the now Jaguars quarterback's tenure; hopefully, he will use that knowledge to avoid making the same mistakes the old regime did.

We are yet to see Maye do anything on the field, but we already know he has a strong arm and the right mindset to be a quarterback in the NFL based on his college career. He's already made quite an impression in the building and with his peers, so it'll be interesting to see how it all translates come game time.

Draft pick the Patriots got right: Javon Baker

Prioritizing the offense was clearly the emphasis of this year's draft, and they made that even more apparent by double-dipping at receiver by selecting Javon Baker in the third round.

The UCF alum had risen in the ranks in the weeks leading to the draft, mainly due to the explosive nature of his game and infectious attitude. His 2023 season made him an instant standout in a deep receiver class, which made his fall deep in the third round even more head scratching.

The good thing is that it appears to be fueling Baker to prove those who passed on him wrong and be everything the Patriots need and more for their team. Starting his career with a chip on his shoulder makes him fit the mold of a great New England player, and it'll be fun to watch how he performs throughout the summer with that extra motivation.

Draft pick the Patriots got right: Jaheim Bell

Although they could have afforded to pick a tight end much earlier than the seventh round, taking Jaheim Bell with their last selection of this year's draft was a solid choice and one of their highest-graded moves of the weekend.

His stats over the last three seasons aren't all that impressive on paper, but Bell is a versatile player who can wear many hats, which will ultimately benefit the Patriots and prolong his career.

He's a solid pass-catching tight end but not the most outstanding blocker. He was a dominant fixture on game day for his quarterback, particularly with yards after the catch. In 2023, Bell recorded 315 of his 503 total yards after the catch, a factor the Patriots roster has struggled with in recent years.

Bell has a lot of potential and has things to work on, but with lowered expectations because of when he was drafted and the tools he has in his arsenal to be a great player, there's no reason to believe he can't be a solid member of the Patriots roster for years to come especially having the luxury of learning from a guy like Hunter Henry.

Two moves from the 2024 Draft the Patriots will regret

Draft move the Patriots will regret: Passing on proven starting left tackles

Of the most important positions the Patriots needed to address in this year's draft, the one they seemed not to value as much as the fans did was finding their next starting left tackle. The class was said to be one of the deeper positions of the draft, and instead of taking one of the starting caliber left tackles, New England took Caedan Wallace, a right tackle out of Penn State.

Some analysts raved about how great of a pick Wallace was and that he could be considered the steal of the weekend of the Patriots despite starting his entire career at right tackle.

Because this created so much controversy, Eliot Wolf explained why they chose Wallace, stating they believe he's talented enough to easily switch to the left side and that he could be their Trent Brown replacement as soon as next season.

This sounds great in theory, but only if it works out. Wallace has experience playing left tackle from his years in high school and college practices. However, that's not nearly as valuable as starting experience.

Draft move the Patriots will regret: Not picking a pass rusher

The defense was rightfully put on the back burner in the draft this year, with only cornerback Marcellas Dial selected in the sixth round.

This move made sense due to the departures of Myles Bryant, J.C. Jackson, and Jalen Mills, but finding a dominant partner for Matthew Judon to work with may have been the wiser decision.

The pass rush has been a weaker part of the defense in recent years outside of the unbelievable production that Judon brings on his own. It was even more evident when he left in Week 4 of last year due to what would be a season-ending injury.

Opposing quarterbacks were barely touched in his absence, and although there is hope for guys like Joshua Uche and Keion White to have breakout seasons in 2024, it's not a guarantee. The only guarantee is that Judon will take down quarterbacks, but he shouldn't have to do it alone.

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