4. Tight end
If it wasn’t for Pharaoh Brown, the Patriots’ situation at TE would be dire. Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki and Brown are all free agents after the year. All three could draw interests on the open market. But Brown, a blocking tight end, probably can be re-signed to a team-friendly contract. Henry and Gesicki could be gone.
Brown has shown he can do more than just block. But even with Matt Sokol on the practice squad, the Patriots will need a receiving threat to add to the offense.
The way New England has approached the position recently seemed like they wanted to build a two TE offense. In 2020 they selected Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in the third round. Asiasi would had been traditional while Keene could line up anywhere and be a catch-and-run threat.
When that didn’t come to fruition, the Patriots spent big money on free agents Jonnu Smith and Henry. But Smith’s tenure with New England was disappointing. Based on Smith’s production with the Atlanta Falcons, the failure falls on the Patriots for not getting the best out of Smith while he was in Foxborough.
2020 was the last time the Patriots drafted the position. That drought needs to end.
Taking Brock Bowers would be tempting, and very much a Belichick thing to do (two TEs selected in the first round), patience should be exercised as other needs are addressed before adding an over the middle target.
New England would have their pick of the remaining prospects if they nab one in the second round. And there should still be some good prospects available in the middle rounds.