Patriots' worst-case scenario 2024 NFL mock draft

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Fortunately, the 2024 NFL Draft is just a couple of weeks away, so we won't have to guess who the Patriots will select this year for much longer. It's a critical draft that will surely dictate the future of the organization, all under the new leadership of Jerod Mayo, presumed general manager Eliot Wolf, and the rest of the new staff.

The plan, as always, is to put together an impressive class that can immediately improve the team and become the centerpieces of the future.

But what if that's not what happens this year? What if the new staff completely botched the process and went against everything believed to be the best way to navigate the draft?

It's not what we'd like to see, but it's unfortunately a possible outcome. That's why we're exploring one version of a worst-case scenario draft in the first four rounds.

Patriots' worst-case scenario 2024 NFL mock draft

Round 1, Pick No. 3: OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

The overwhelming opinion among Patriots reporters and fans regarding how they should handle the third overall pick has slowly become quarterback or bust. Given how critical a good quarterback is to the overall success of a team, and New England hasn't had the best luck at the position since Tom Brady left, most agree this is the year to take advantage of their draft positioning and get their next franchise guy.

If that's not the opinion they hold, the only other accepted route is to trade down and acquire an incredibly rich package in return, setting the team up for a wealth of picks this year and next.

One of the unanimously agreed scenarios almost nobody wants to see is Jerod Mayo and Co. choosing to draft an offensive lineman with their first-round pick, no matter how badly they need to find a left tackle to replace Trent Brown.

So if they stick with the No. 3 pick and select Joe Alt, the best left tackle prospect of the class, the reaction would indeed be similar to that of Cole Strange's pick but likely much worse.

Although it would be great to add the best player at the position to the roster, the tackle class is said to be deep this year, allowing the Patriots to still get a great player in the second or third round. Because they have what most consider to be more vulnerable positions that need to be prioritized, selecting Alt would be viewed as an absolute nightmare.