3 very early needs for the New England Patriots in the 2024 NFL Draft

New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals
New England Patriots v Arizona Cardinals / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Even though we're a whopping 10 months away from the 2024 NFL Draft, it's never too early to look at some projected needs for the New England Patriots. The 2024 NFL Draft might end up being an extremely significant time in the franchises' history, as I do think there is a chance that Bill Belichick won't be with the team depending on how the 2023 season goes.

The 2024 season could mark the beginning of a brand-new era, which might be hard for some to get used to, but all good things have to come to an end at some point. Right now, the Patriots do appear to have a solid roster from top to bottom, but there are some needs that stick out as potentially needing prioritized in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Which needs could these be?

3 very early needs for the New England Patriots in the 2024 NFL Draft
1. Wide receiver

Wide receiver I think will still be a need for the team come 2024. The top three wide receivers on the depth chart for the Patriots come 2024 are looking like they'll be JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, and Kayshon Boutte. With DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne being free agents, the room might need some serious replenishment, unless the Pats can see a year two jump from Thornton or even a rookie breakout performance from Boutte, but I would not bank on that.

2. EDGE rusher

The pass rush might need some serious help in 2024. Matthew Judon is getting older and is under contract through the 2024 season, but Josh Uche, his running mate, is a free agent. The team did draft Keion White in the 2023 NFL Draft, so there was some preparation done, but can Judon sustain his recent pass-rushing success into his 30s? Will he be the same player in 2023 and 2024 as he was in 2021 and 2022?

Just because he could be, does not mean the Patriots should just sit on their hands. Players don't play in the NFL forever and at some point, they will need to address the pass rush further.

3. Quarterback

The biggest and most unfortunate need that an NFL team can have is at quarterback. I am not buying into Mac Jones enough to crown him as the franchise quarterback for the New England Patriots in 2023 and beyond. I think he needs a lot around him to go right in order to even sniff some of the best QBs in the AFC.

If Jones is only marginally better, the Patriots might want to swing for the fences in 2024 and perhaps try to land a top signal caller in the coming NFL Draft. I think the organization was hoping that Mac Jones could very lightly follow in the footsteps of Tom Brady and become that methodical, addicted, and consistent force for the Patriots, and Brady had to behave that way because he was not an elite athlete or talent; he simply just outworked everybody.

I think the Patriots were hoping Mac Jones could have become a much smaller version of that, but that does not appear to be the case right now. Don't be surprised if the team sniffs around the 2024 NFL Draft for a franchise quarterback.