Last of the top 4, the New England Patriots draft two tight ends
The New England Patriots flopped in signing tight end Mike Gesicki last off-season, a player whose arrival was greatly anticipated here (OOPS!). The room needs to be shored up, and probably two picks should be attributed there.
The team needs to spend its last two picks on tight ends, hope that Pharoah Brown can continue to grow into the position, and then seek to add a free agent or two in addition. After quarterback, offensive tackle, and wide receiver, it's the offensive position that needs bolstering most in the draft. It's time for the scouting department to get one right by hitting on a pick or two (a la Douglas) in the bottom two rounds to provide depth.
The team's best tight end, Hunter Henry, is a free agent. He performed OK, but whether he's worth another huge contract is debatable. He represented a whopping $15.5M on the cap in 2023. He's not worth anywhere near that allotment. But with 42 catches for 419 yards and six TDs, he's a decent player. He or another free agent tight end should be signed, but only for reasonable money.
The previously noted Schultz and Noah Fant, currently of Seattle, are the other top free agents. If not Henry, then one of those veterans is the choice. But, again, not at an exorbitant salary. That money has to be allocated elsewhere, e.g., to wide receivers and offensive linemen.
So these are the top four needs that have to be addressed by the Patriots in the 2024 NFL draft. If it appears that all available picks are to be used on offense, it's not an illusion. It is what it is: an absolute necessity. It may be a bit unorthodox, but this team needs a major infusion of offensive talent, and the draft is the place to do a lot of the work. The defense is solid. Its needs can be addressed in free agency.