6 players the Patriots should build their roster around for 2024 and beyond

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6 players the Patriots should build their roster around for 2024 and beyond

DeMario Douglas

Given the current state of the receiving corps, it's fairly obvious who they should build the future around and that's DeMario Douglas.

As a sixth-rounder who wasn't expected to contribute much to last year's offense, the receiver quickly rose in the rankings and became the best-performing pass catcher on the team for the season.

As the weeks progressed, Douglas's value became increasingly evident. This was particularly crucial given JuJu Smith-Schuster's struggles in the offense and Kendrick Bourne's unfortunate season-ending injury in Week 8. This catapulted Douglas to the top of the depth chart, making him the quarterback's primary target for the rest of the year.

Despite Bourne's re-signing and K.J. Osborn's arrival, Douglas's status remains unchanged as he enters his second season. He will continue to be one of the team's top two receivers and is projected to outperform his previous season, which is exciting.

In just one season, he's already earned the right to be a building block for the offense moving forward and has all the tools to be the mainstay slot receiver for years to come.

Douglas fits the role perfectly and eliminates the need to fill the void left by Julian Edelman's retirement, allowing Mayo and Co. to focus elsewhere in their search to make the offense a more well-rounded competitive unit.