The New England Patriots face the most important draft in decades in April 2024. They start a new era with a new coach for the first time in 24 years in Jerod Mayo. They also either now have or maybe will have empowered a new personnel decisionmaker(s) for this draft, whomever that is or may be.
Those individually are massive changes. Taken together they are monumental. Fortunately for Mayo and the new de facto GM(s), the defense is in relatively good shape although depth is an issue. Nonetheless, it's the offense that is generally recognized as the key to the offseason and a successful draft is a major focal point.
Three key positions are central to the rebuild, among others. They are quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle. Each position needs substantial reinforcement and optimally, each will require a certain profile to maximize that draftee's potential. The first to examine is the most important player on the field, the quarterback.
The New England Patriots need a mobile quarterback
Most mock drafts have the Patriots selecting a quarterback early and many have a specific one in mind, Jayden Daniels of LSU. Daniels, as well as the other two top quarterbacks, Caleb Williams of USC, and Drake Maye of North Carolina, fits the required profile (albeit in slightly different ways) the Patriots need in their next signal-caller. It's called having mobility, improvisational skill, or most often here, escapability. It all essentially means the same thing, the ability to escape the rush.
Daniels not only is a pinpoint passer with immense ball-protection skills, he also can run like a running back. That's taking escapability to a whole new level. Not only can he evade the rush, but he can turn a broken play into a massive gain on his own.
Williams is a master of sliding in the pocket al la Dan Marino or Tom Brady. Maye can also tote the rock. He can and does run the ball very well. Each of these top players meets the requirements that the Patriots will need this season and beyond. The team really can't go wrong with any of the three. If they select one who's available at three, the draft is already a home run.