4 decisions the Patriots might live to regret from 2024 NFL Draft

Duke's Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina
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2. Waiting until Round 7 to select a tight end

Finding a suitable replacement for Rob Gronkowski since he first "retired" has been a struggle for the last several years. It took Bill Belichick signing Hunter Henry in 2021 to finally get the right one in the door, and luckily, the new regime re-signed him for three more years.

He has had his best seasons since arriving in Foxboro and is expected to be utilized even more this upcoming season. But he remains the only real contributor of the tight ends on the roster, which doesn't exactly make a recipe for success.

Henry will need help, and a guy like Austin Hooper is not the one to do it. Although the journeyman is a solid blocker and has had some pretty good seasons during his eight-year career, his addition to the team won't necessarily benefit Henry.

Sure, he'll be able to be an extra body on the offensive line to allow Henry to get open for some plays, but what the team really needs is a productive tight end. That's likely why they selected Jaheim Bell in this year's draft, hoping their seventh-round pick will fit the role they need.

Because he's considered the opposite of Hooper, not a good blocker but a great playmaker, he could be a solid part of the offense moving forward. But there are not many expectations placed on a late-round pick, so if it doesn't pan out, then it's like the pick never happened.

That might become an issue in the long run since there were other tight ends available throughout the draft that the Patriots could have drafted instead. Bell might be exactly what they need, which would be incredible.

However, the position should've been prioritized higher during the draft weekend to ensure there was far less worry about how the player would work out.