The New England Patriots need a certain type of offensive tackle(s)
It's no secret to anyone at this point, that the Patriots offensive tackle situation is an out-and-out disaster. They regrettably, and almost incomprehensively, neglected to draft an offensive tackle(s) with any of their 12 picks in 2023. This gross omission coupled with bargain-basement free-agent OT signings and late summer panic trades for OTs who flopped, spelled doom for the season before it began.
Whoever is in charge of personnel can't allow that to happen again. The team should have drafted at least two OTs in the top four rounds in 2023. That proposition still stands for 2024 and another (plus a legitimate free agent) should be added, as well. That being said, there is one attribute among others that is an absolute necessity in any of the offensive tackles who are added this offseason. It's called length.
Indeed, these players also have to be skilled with their footwork and hand placement, that goes without saying, and those can be taught by the offensive line coaches. Yet, the one characteristic that can't be taught is perhaps the most important one, length. Offensive tackles need to be tall and have long arms which add up to that length quality.
One need look no further than the drafting of Georgia's Isaiah Wynn with the 18th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. Not only did the Patriots pass on Lamar Jackson then (and again with the 31st pick), but they drafted Wynn whose length was suspect from the outset. Wynn is about 6'2" tall and weighs about 310 pounds. That's marginal size for a center, small for a guard, and not even remotely close to the required length of a 2020's NFL offensive tackle.
Rather, the Patriots need to look solely for offensive tackles who stand at a minimum 6'5" tall with long arms. Optimally, they should be more like 6'6" or 6'7" tall with those long arms to maximize their ability to re-route quick edge players around the quarterback. This type of tackle exists in relative quantity in this draft. Kingsley Suamataia of BYU is one. At least two should be targeted exclusively by the team in the draft when they hopefully stock up on offensive tackles there and in the offseason generally.
Those are characteristics of the top three needs of the New England Patriots this offseason that need to be achieved in the draft and free agency. They need a dual-threat, mobile quarterback drafted high up, and multiples of both separation-specific wide receivers, and offensive tackles with top length.
Look for how astutely and comprehensively the appointed or de facto general manager(s) for the draft and free agency approaches these suggestions. If they compromise on any of these attributes, don't expect a top offseason. Rather, as in 2023, expect them and the team to flop again in 2024.