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Patriots Eyeing Elite Skill Position Player in NFL Network’s 2024 Mock Draft

Patriots take elite skill position player in NFL Network’s new mock draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It’s officially mock draft season, and while many experts believe USC quarterback Caleb Williams will go No. 1 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, the rest of the top 10 is still very much a guessing game and could unfold in so many different ways.

You could argue the upcoming draft really begins with the Washington Commanders at No. 2 overall. They badly need a quarterback, and their choice between UNC’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels might set the course for the rest of the top 10 picks.

A lot of experts, based on recent mock drafts, see Williams, Maye and Daniels all being selected in the top threebut not everyone is taking that position right now.

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NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah released his second 2024 NFL mock draft on Tuesday. Not only does Jeremiah have the Patriots passing on a quarterback and taking Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. with the No. 3 pick, he also projects Daniels sliding all the way to the New York Giants at No. 6 overall. He has LSU wideout Malik Nabers going to the Arizona Cardinals with the No. 4 pick, and Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt going to the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 overall.

If the Patriots aren’t super confident in any of the quarterbacks available at No. 3 turning into franchise players, then they shouldn’t be pressured to take one. It’s OK to draft Harrison, who is the No. 2 rated prospect on most 2024 draft big boards and probably the player most likely to have a very good or elite pro career.

The Patriots haven’t had a legit No. 1 wideout on the outside since Randy Moss well over a decade ago. Harrison ended his Buckeyes career with back-to-back seasons of at least 67 receptions, 1,200-plus yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s an incredible talent with the size, speed, route running and football IQ needed to be an effective player from Day 1.

The Patriots could also look at the free agent market for a top wideout. The group of wide receivers in the 2024 free agent class is very strong, and could feature notable names such as Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Michael Pittman Jr., Calvin Ridley, Marquise Brown and Gabe Davis.

Either way, the Patriots have to upgrade their wide receiver depth chart in a significant way this offseason. Harrison is the cheapest way to do it because he’d be on a rookie contract for five years. But taking a wide receiver with the No. 3 pick also makes upgrading at quarterback much more difficult because the free agent market is pretty weak at that position.

2024-02-21 18:35:01
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