Winners and Losers from the Patriots 2024 NFL Draft

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On paper, the Patriots roster is already looking miles better than it did just one year ago, mostly from the excellent rookie additions selected in this past weekend's NFL Draft.

Plenty can change over the summer, and some players who look like stars in the making might not live up to the hype. However, based on what we know right now, some on the roster were able to take a big sigh of relief by the end of Round 7, while others already know they'll be fighting hard to keep this job this summer.

So that means there were a few winners and a few losers once all was said and done, with the first list being the biggest beneficiaries of the draft process.

Winners from the Patriots 2024 Draft

QB Drake Maye

Besides the immense pressure to eventually live up to the label of the Patriots' next franchise quarterback, Drake Maye walked out of this year's draft as one of the team's biggest winners.

It's not because he was drafted to the right team at the right time but because the strategy Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf implemented to navigate the draft proved they were selecting players to build around Maye.

That was a consistent critique of Bill Belichick and the lack of proper roster building to put Mac Jones in a position to win, so seeing the new regime take a different approach to building for the future makes Maye a winner before even stepping foot onto the field in a regular-season game.

WRs Kendrick Bourne and DeMario Douglas and TE Hunter Henry

No matter who is under center this fall, whether it be Jacoby Brissett or Drake Maye, the weapons on offense will be a much better position than they have since they signed with the team, especially Kendrick Bourne and Hunter Henry who were part of the 2021 free agency spending spree.

Over the last three years, they've dealt with a chaotic offense between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, which DeMario Douglas got the brunt of during his rookie year.

From a talent standpoint, there is far more stability under center this upcoming season, which will inevitably make the year much more enjoyable and successful for the rest of the offense.

Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf

It wasn't the perfect draft, but Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf fulfilled their promise to weaponize the offense through the draft. It was a big way to make up for an otherwise lackluster offseason, mainly free agency, and the experts love the draft class they put together.

The vision to prioritize improving the offense and building a young core was clear and continuing on that track can allow the team to reap the benefits for many years.

It was an excellent way for the new guys in charge to kick off the new era in Foxboro, and hopefully, they will continue that good work the rest of the way.

Losers from the Patriots 2024 Draft

Unlike their teammates, who are thrilled with the results of Draft Weekend, the following players are very aware they are heading into the summer on the roster bubble.

QB Bailey Zappe

If Drake Maye had been the only quarterback drafted over the weekend, Bailey Zappe wouldn't necessarily be considered a loser. However, because Maye was taken and Joe Milton III was selected five rounds later, it's looking more and more like Zappe won't be on the Patriots team this fall.

Based on Mayo's comments this offseason, it's clear that there are people in the building who like and respect Zappe and likely put him in the same category as Mac Jones, who wasn't given a proper chance to succeed.

So, despite it all, he could end up being the QB4 if the team decides to carry that many. Maybe he will be relegated to the practice squad like he was last season or even traded, which might actually be the best scenario for all involved.

Regardless, it's almost certainly not the future Zappe had in mind for himself in Foxboro and how the quarterback competition will evolve this summer will be one of the hottest storylines to follow.

WR Kayshon Boutte, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton

Given the offense's need for significant improvement from the draft, the Patriots were expected to select at least one receiver in a higher round, if not trade for Brandon Aiyuk or Tee Higgins.

Instead, Mayo and Wolf drafted Ja'Lynn Polk in the second round and then double-dipped at receiver by taking Javon Baker in the fourth.

This seemed to solidify the speculation that those who make up the depth of the receiving corps were in the hot seat, mostly Kayshon Boutte, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Tyquan Thornton, who will all have to have an impressive summer to ensure they make the Patriots' final roster.

TEs Mitchell Wilcox and La'Michal Pettway

They might have waited until the seventh round to draft a tight end, but Jaheim Bell has all the makings to be a big part of the Patriots offense in the future, jeopardizing Mitchell Wilcox and La'Michael Pettway's spots on the team.

We know that Hunter Henry is a roster lock, and probably Austin Hooper, too, given his connections to Alex Van Pelt and Eliot Wolf. But who will make up the rest of the tight end depth is up for grabs.

If Bell lives up to what was seen during his college career, there's no reason to believe he won't bump one of the veterans off the final 53-man roster.

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