Grading all 8 picks Patriots made in 2024 NFL Draft

Let's assign grades to this critically important offseason event.
2024 NFL Draft - Portraits
2024 NFL Draft - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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Rounds two and three, did the Patriots continue a great draft?

Day Two came along,, and the Patriots had two high picks, No. 34 and 68, in each of the second and third rounds. Wolf made a slight trade-down and swapped the Pats' 34th pick in the second and their fifth-round pick, No. 123, to the Chargers for their 37th pick and their 110th fourth-round pick. It's a decent return, giving the Patriots two fourth-rounders.

With that 37th pick, they took a receiver, Ja'Lynn Polk, from Washington. At 6'1" tall and 203 pounds, Polk is a solid receiver who's more of a Z or flanker-type than an X, the true No. One outside receiver the Patriots needed. Additionally, Polk is no burner, having run a pedestrian 4.51 forty-yard dash at the Combine.

Speculation in some quarters was that the pick was a reach and many grades were mediocre. It was a reach. Polk had benefitted from having two other top receivers on hand at Washington, Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, leaving more space for him to operate. He won't have that in Foxborough, where the wide receiver room is littered with mediocre Z receivers.

The opportunity cost of this pick was also heavy. New England doesn't have an offensive left tackle. Two good ones, Kingsley Suamataia of BYU and Patrick Paul, and an aircraft-carrier-size player from Houston were available later in the round. The pick should have been the left tackle.

Grade: C+

Wolf reached again for a tackle/guard from Penn State with pick No. 68 in the third round taking Caedan Wallace. Wallace was another reach with several draft sites seeing the payer as a fourth, fifth, sixth, or even seventh-round pick.

If this pattern sounds familiar, Belichick's first two picks in 2022, guard Cole Strange and wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, were huge reaches. Strange is an average guard when he does play. Thornton hasn't done much of anything.

Wallace played right tackle exclusively for the Nittany Lions. Any illusions that Wallace may miraculously morph into a left tackle in the pre-season, as suggested by Mr. Wolf, don't warrant serious consideration. Belichick considered a similar "strategy" last year when he expended a fourth-round pick on guard (tackle?), Sidy Sow. It flopped.

Unlike Belichick, at least Wolf drafted some offensive players early, generally at positions of need. Unfortunately, he didn't pick the right players at the right time. It was a great start on Day One but a poor follow-up on Day Two.

Grade: C-