Tom Brady's return dictates the Patriots picks in final 7-Round Mock Draft

The Return of the GOAT presents great draft options for the Pats.
Kentucky v Georgia
Kentucky v Georgia / Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Time has quickly, and inexorably closed the gap between free agency and the 2024 NFL draft. It's now right around the proverbial corner and excitement in Patriot Nation is sky-high. The good news is, for the first time in literally three decades, the Patriots have a top-three pick. The bad news is, if you get that pick other than through a trade, it means you stunk last season. They did.

But 2023 with all its shortcomings is now in the rearview mirror and hope springs eternal in the post-Tom Brady New England Patriots world. Yet, will the situation remain post-TB12? Or, conversely, could the GOAT return to wearing the blue, silver, red, and white of our favorite team?

There has been talk about his potential return to the NFL and maybe even a return to the Patriots. While such thoughts are pure conjecture, TB12 hasn't done anything to diminish the possibility. Indeed. with Bill Belichick and his domineering, scowling countenance now out of the picture, the prospect may be just that much more enticing to the greatest ever to come back home.

Whether owner Robert Kraft has the perspicacity to undo his greatest error ever and go out and sign Brady to a huge contract for however much in salary he wants, is questionable. Kraft's decision-making in recent years has been atrocious.

But, if he does, in one fell swoop, he has an opportunity to right the wrongs, all of them, and reinvigorate this moribund franchise. For the purposes of this Mock Draft, we'll assume he will re-sign the greatest. (Not that it would bring much joy back to the Foxborough Faithful!)

With Tom Brady in mind, the Patriots select TE Brock Bowers from Georgia

This draft is now predicated on the fact that with Tom Brady back in tow, you don't need to use your top pick on a quarterback. You already have the best. It's now about giving him what he needs on offense to get back in contention.

With that in mind, GM in training Eliot Wolf jumps on an opportunity to add an asset by a slight trade-down. He takes a deal with the Chicago Bears and sends the third pick overall plus pick No. 103 in the fourth round to the Bears for their pick No. 9 and another third-round pick, No. 75.

Wolf is confident he'll still get a top performer on offense at nine, and indeed he does, one of the very best. He sends the pick up to Commissioner Roger Goodell in a flash, and selects Georgia's Brock Bowers, the best tight end in the draft and, perhaps, the best player, as well. Brady, who'd had a pretty special relationship with another tight end during his first tenure at Foxborough, now has the best to come out of college in a while at his disposal. Nice start.

Bowers is an absolute game-changer and if any team needed that type of player to go along with their once and now-current quarterback, he's it. At 6'3" tall and 244 pounds, Bowers is not your prototypical in-line tight end. Not to worry. His ability to be utilized all over the offense is what makes him special. has this to say about the the Georgia star and "stale" offenses,

"Prolific pass-catching tight end with a rare blend of acceleration, speed, body control and hands that could breathe new life into a stale NFL offense. Bowers was a high-volume target at Georgia and led the team in receiving yards in all three of his college seasons. He plays with relentless pacing as a route runner, allowing him to beat man coverage. Also, he’s highly effective at exploiting zone pockets for first downs and chunk plays. Bowers’ secret sauce might be his ability to rip through tacklers and pile on yardage after the catch."

If ever a team needed those qualities it's the dreadful Patriots offense. Now, with TB12 back in the fold, he'll have a prime target to bring down all those laser darts and get great yards after the catch. This is an outside-the-box pick for Wolf, but the box has gilded wrapping paper. It was hard to think of any other NFL team landing Bowers when the Pats could get him. Not to worry, now, we have.