The Patriots next address the wide receiver position
The Patriots' wide receiver corps is in shambles. Free agent or trade acquisitions DeVante Parker and JuJu Smith-Schuster were total flops. They should be moved on if at all possible. The whole corps needs to be upgraded save rookie phenom Demario Douglas and possibly Kendrick Bourne, who's unsigned and coming off a serious knee injury. This means three or four additions.
In the draft, the team's third pick has to be the top available wide receiver left on the board. A trade-up here to secure an even better player should not be dismissed as a possibility. Dipping into next year's draft should be an option.
The team subsequently needs to go back to the well for another wide receiver with one of its picks in the fourth or fifth rounds. This means two wide receivers in the top five rounds. The team has neglected the position to a fare-the-well higher in the draft after totally missing on former first-round pick N'Keal Henry. It's time to invest heavily in the position now.
Additionally, the team has to go out into the free agent market or by trade to secure a top veteran receiver to augment the rookies drafted. The team will have loads of cash to spend in this off-season, and they need to use it wisely: read on the right positions. Lou Scataglia of Musket Fire had this to say about that situation,
"The team could chase a stud WR free agent like Tee Higgins, for example. They could also throw a bag at Dalton Schultz, a very talented tight end who is currently slated to be a free agent next year. Well, just how much cap space are the Patriots projected to have? According to overthecap.com, the team is projected to have a whopping $79.3 million in effective cap space, which is the true amount the team would have at their disposal."
The strategy is to draft at least two in the top five rounds and then add to them with a top free agent or two, like Michael Pittman of the Colts or the aforementioned Tee Higgins of Cincinnati. The money is there, and it needs to be spent effectively. With Belichick out of the picture, it will be incumbent on whoever is acting as the GM to get it right for a change. Next up is the tight end position.