Patriots 4-round mock draft with mega-trades stuns the AFC East

The New England Patriots put the AFC East on notice, "We're baaaack!"

LSU v Missouri
LSU v Missouri / Ed Zurga/GettyImages
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The once-feared New England Patriots are now a veritable laughingstock last-place show pony in the NFL's AFC East. The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins post-Tom Brady have soared above the now-hapless Patriots, and even the lowly New York Jets finished above the Pats in the AFC East in 2023. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Yet, all is not gloom and doom for the Patriots as a new offseason provides hope for new beginnings. Adding to the potentiality of a renaissance is the overhaul of the team's coaching staff and personnel management. (Sort of.)

Long-time successful Head Coach (if not general manager) Bill Belichick was sent packing. One of his proteges replaced him, Jerod Mayo. So it's new, but not entirely so, though Mayo has dramatically reshaped his staff. So the signs there are positive. The personnel management function is also a mixed bag of change and not so much change.

Eliot Wolf, a staffer under Belichick, has taken over the reins of the listless personnel operation and kept on many of Belichick's hands. While owner Robert Kraft's decisions in making changes (aka brooming Belichick) while elevating or keeping many of his former employees on site is certainly subject to questioning, it is what it is. Wolf will run this most important of off-seasons.

Two of Wolf's most important operations are on the table quickly. They, of course, are free agency and the draft. March 13, about three weeks out is the date when free agency gets uncorked. Then, about a month and a half later is the NFL draft.

The draft and its all-important top four rounds are the topic here. In those rounds, Wolf will either make or break the draft and likely his own future atop the Patriots personnel pyramid, as well. Kraft wasn't reluctant to even call out the six-time Super Bowl-winning Belichick for his subpar drafting. Wolf should expect the same if he flubs things up.

Essentially, Wolf will either make or break the 2024 draft in the first four rounds. For this exercise, these will be considered "premium" picks since even the fourth-rounder is high up in the round. Wolf needs to hit big in the top four, and here we'll suggest how he can do just that.

Note: Thanks to for the use of their mock draft simulator.