New England Patriots top five draft needs for 2024

New England Patriots OT Trent Brown (77) and the rest of O-line needs to better protect QB Mac Jones (10).
New England Patriots OT Trent Brown (77) and the rest of O-line needs to better protect QB Mac Jones (10). / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Wide receiver

The positional complaint for many Patriots fans is New England doesn’t have a number one receiver. They look around the league, see most of the other teams with an outside big play threat and want the Patriots to have one too.

Fans forget that in the Patriots offense, the go-to receiver is the slot receiver. By this metric, New England’s number one receiver is Demario “Pop” Douglas.

The biggest problem for the Patriots’ woes isn’t talent. It’s misappropriation of personnel. It took until the Dolphins games to treat Douglas as the first option. Despite the lack of production from DeVante Parker and JuJu Smit-Schuster, Kayshon Boutte remained in the dog house until injuries at the position gave the coaches no choice.

And Tyquan Thornton was benched for poorly running an out route when he should be running slants, digs and deep patterns.

The receiver position could be more productive, but the coaching remains stuck in their old ways. Could the position use more talent? Absolutely. But having a stud receiver doesn’t guarantee a fix. The problem is much bigger than who’s running the routes.

That being said, If the Patriots do select a receiver, there doesn’t have to be urgency. There are great talents available on day three almost every year. It’s drafting the right player that’s the problem for the Patriots. They’ve missed on so many great receivers from the first round through day three while selecting busts instead.

But past failures shouldn’t deter the Patriots from selecting a wide out. Heck, draft two. The more swings they take at the position, the better chance one of them turns out to be a productive weapon.