Patriots give Drake Maye solid weapon with second-round pick

Colorado v Washington
Colorado v Washington / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Patriots entered Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft with two positions on their mind: offensive tackle and wide receiver. Given that they held the No. 34 pick, either could easily be addressed early with plenty of talent remaining on the board.

Both are needed to make the offense better, especially after drafting Drake Maye with the third overall selection on Thursday. But instead of sticking and picking, like they did in the first round, they traded back three spots with the Chargers, sending picks No. 34 and 137 for picks No. 37 and 110.

Once on the clock for the second time, the Patriots added an impressive weapon by taking Washington receiver Ja'Lynn Polk, a familiar player for WR coach Tyler Hughes, who worked at the college during the 2023 season.

Patriots make the right move in adding a top receiver to their offense

A player who seemingly fell under the radar, with most Patriots fans focusing on Adonai Mitchell or Ladd McConkey, Polk is not a guy to overlook.

The 6'2" pass catcher is said to be highly competitive and a physical player who is known for playing through contact. He showed impressive development throughout college, putting together his best season in 2023 by recording 69 receptions for 1,159 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 16.8 yards per catch.

Polk brings more versatility to the receiving corps, as he lined up all over the offense for former quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

The receiver was getting rave views upon his selection, especially from ESPN's Field Yates who loves the pick for the Patriots.

“Spent one year at Texas Tech. Came from the same high school as Dez Bryant. This guy is tough. He makes so many contested catches; so many catches that aren’t necessarily the highlight reel [type] but are in tight areas, or when he’s posting up a perimeter corner. Doing things outside of his frame so consistently. Making the difficult things look effortless.

"I think the run-after-catch skill is fine. I get it – he had a 4.52 ‘40’; he’s not going to blow you away in that regard. But if you’re looking for a guy who is consistently making the difficult things look easy, it’s Ja’Lynn Polk. He had a wonderful game against Michigan State in which he was making catches like he was part of cirque du soleil.

"Was great at the pro day. Love seeing the energy he brought to the table. I’m in on Ja’Lynn Polk; I think he deserves to go somewhere in the second round.”

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