Players for Patriots fans to watch at the NFL Combine

Offense is the theme for the 2024 Patriots Draft

Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) makes a touchdown catch over Washington cornerback
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (5) makes a touchdown catch over Washington cornerback / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

The 2024 NFL Combine workouts get underway Thursday and run through Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. All eyes will be on the offensive standouts for the Patriots and their fans as they look to improve upon an offense that ranked 30th in yards per game and tied for 31st in points per game this past season.

Here are five prospects to look for over the weekend:

J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

In a Combine that has seen some of the top quarterbacks opt out of throwing and doing drills, McCarthy has a chance to make a statement when the QBs take the stage on Saturday. Fresh off of leading Michigan to the college football National Championship, McCarthy has already been mentioned as a potential riser in Indy. If the Pats like what they see, it could have a significant impact on what they do with the No. 3 pick.

Frank Gore Jr., RB, Southern Mississippi

When your dad rushes for 16,000 career yards in the NFL, following in his footsteps is quite the task. Gore Jr. took the first big step in doing just that in the East-West Shrine Bowl, rushing for 87 yards and a touchdown to earn MVP honors. He will have the opportunity to build upon that on Saturday when the running backs get their turn to shine. The Pats are set at starting RB with Rhamondre Stevenson, but adding a back like Gore Jr. in the later rounds could hold significant value.

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Other than quarterback, wide receiver is arguably the biggest need for the Patriots in this draft. Mitchell and another potential Pats target Xavier Worthy were a dynamic duo in Austin this season, with Mitchell showcasing clutch performance potential with a touchdown catch against Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal. Mitchell recorded career highs in his first and only season at Texas with 845 yards receiving, 11 touchdowns and 15.4 yards per reception. The wide receivers will compete on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Bowers is one of the top prospects in the draft but has been mostly an afterthought for the Patriots at the No. 3 pick. He remains an option if the Pats trade back, but at the very least it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he puts up at the Combine. The tight ends are set to go on Friday in Indianapolis.

Walter Rouse, OL, Oklahoma

Offensive line is a definite weakness for the Patriots, and Rouse could provide depth there for the Pats without spending one of their first few picks on a lineman. Rouse got a chance to compete in the East-West Shrine Bowl after starting all 13 games at left tackle for Oklahoma in 2023, earning Outland Trophy Player of the Week honors on Oct. 10 for his performance against Texas. He will now go toe-to-toe with the best offensive linemen in the draft on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.

At the end of the day all quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen will have the attention of Patriots fans in Indianapolis. The NFL Combine will be televised all weekend on the NFL Network and NFL+. Here is the complete schedule of events:

Thursday, Feb. 29 (3 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET): Defensive linemen, linebackers
Friday, March 1 (3 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET): Defensive backs, tight ends
Saturday, March 2 (1 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET): Quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs
Sunday, March 3 (1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET): Offensive linemen

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