Tom Brady Teases Return to Patriots in 2024: Mock Draft Predictions

The thought of Tom Brady returning to the New England Patriots was never a consideration until the former legendary NFL quarterback teased at the possibility on the “DeepCut Podcast.”

Brady was asked if he’d be open to returning late in the season, if a contending team lost its starting quarterback, and surprisingly, the seven-time Super Bowl champion said he wouldn’t be opposed to a comeback under those circumstances.

“Patriots. Could be Raiders. You never know,” said Brady. “…I’m not opposed to it. I don’t know if they’re going to let me if I become an owner in an NFL team. I’m always going to be in good shape. I’m always going to be able to throw the ball. So to come in for a little bit like MJ coming back, I don’t know if they’d let me, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”

The first team out of Brady’s mouth was the Patriots.

Whether there’s a deeper meaning behind that or not isn’t known. However, what is known is the fact that Brady is at least entertaining the idea of coming back, even if the possibility of it actually happening remains a long ways off.

Today, we’re going to have a little fun with the subject matter by doing a seven-round mock draft with the thought that Brady will be returning to play for New England in the 2024 season.

I recently broke down why it’s more likely for Brady to return at the beginning of the season instead of late. So I’m working with the idea that the 46-year-old quarterback is returning for the entire season.

Here’s how the draft could change if he’s back on the Patriots’ roster:

Nov 11, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) scores the touchdown during the first quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

With the quarterback situation already settled, the Patriots are in a position where they could go all in on the offensive side of the ball. The first order of business should be selecting the best skilled player on the entire board and a possible generational talent in Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr.

There are a couple of other directions the Patriots could go in as well. They could trade back, acquire more draft picks and draft Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze instead of Harrison. There’s also the possibility for them to still take a quarterback at No. 3 with the thought of benching the rookie for a year. They could then use their second-round draft pick to trade for a veteran receiver and draft another receiver in the third round.

That would allow them to have their cake and eat it, too, at the quarterback position.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – NOVEMBER 27: Tee Higgins #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Patriots get: WR Tee Higgins

Bengals get: 2024 second-round pick (No. 34)

The Patriots got the best receiver on the draft board, but they’d need to double down to ensure Brady has all of the help he needs on offense. So they go out and get a proven playmaker in Cincinnati Bengals’ burgeoning star wideout Tee Higgins.

The combination of Higgins and Marvin Harrison Jr., along with Demario Douglas and K.J. Osborn working the middle of the field, would instantly give the Patriots one of the best receiving corps in the league.

Oct 16, 2021; East Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Yale Bulldogs offensive lineman Kiran Amegadjie (72) blocks Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Lwal Uguak (98) during the first half at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

If the Patriots consider bringing back a 46-year-old quarterback, they’re going to need to load up at offensive tackle. They can start by getting Ivy League standout Kiran Amegadjie with their third-round pick.

An argument could be made that this is a bit too early to be drafting him, but the Patriots can’t run the risk of someone else snagging him before they’re back on the clock. Besides, they have bigger plans with their fourth-round draft pick. Amegadjie is a powerful enforcer that should be labeled a plug-and-start candidate right out of the gates.

Oct 21, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots should still try and come away with a quarterback prospect, even with Brady back on the roster. Spencer Rattler made the most sense on this mock draft board considering he fell all the way to No. 103. Brady could help the team compete in the present, while Rattler would sit for an entire season behind the greatest quarterback of all time to learn at the next level.

Rattler stole the show in the Senior Bowl and was ultimately named the 2024 MVP of the event. He would only benefit from being on a team with the timetable and leadership to help him develop properly as a future prospect.

Nov 19, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers offensive lineman Matt Goncalves (76) blocks at the line of scrimmage against Duke Blue Devils linebacker Shaka Heyward (42) during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Goncalves has tremendous potential at the next level, but he has mostly flown under the radar after going down with a season-ending injury last season. He’s a handful to deal with in the trenches when healthy, and he could develop into a future starter for an NFL team.

One thing to also take into consideration is the fact that Goncalves was named a team captain last year for Pittsburgh. There are some strong leadership traits, along with his on-field talent, that should especially be appealing for a tackle-needy team like the Patriots.

Texas Longhorn offensive linemen Christian Jones (70) runs through drills during their second day of preseason practice at the Denius Fields on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.

The Patriots desperately need to get better at the offensive tackle position, and they make an effort to do so by tripling down in the draft. Texas’ Christian Jones would be a tremendous addition to help fill out the tackle depth. Once again, the team will need plenty of it to ensure Brady stays upright for an entire season.

With three big swings at the position, the Patriots are sure to hit on someone capable enough to play opposite of Mike Onwenu from the start. Jones would obviously need some developing, but the potential is definitely there for him to be an effective contributor.

Sep 2, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Erick All (83) scores on a touchdown pass as tight end Steven Stilianos (86) lay on the turf during the first quarter against the Utah State Aggies at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

An injury brought an early end to Erick All’s 2023 season and ultimately hurt his draft stock. He’s a talented player who clearly could be getting overlooked due to this draft being deep at the tight end position.

The Patriots already have Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper on the roster, but they need to start filling out their roster depth with young tight end talent. All may or may not be able to help the Patriots right off the bat, but this draft selection could pay off big down the line.

Dec 2, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide place kicker Will Reichard (16) warms up before the SEC Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The kicking game was an absolute disaster for the Patriots last season. Chad Ryland was a bust as a rookie kicker, and the team needs to seriously weigh other options. One option would be bringing in one of the best kickers in the nation, Alabama’s Will Reichard, to compete with Ryland for a job in the 2024 season.

Reichard has a big leg and the steady confidence teams typically love to see from kicking prospects. Fans can also find solace in the fact that he’d be taken in the seventh round of this mock draft, as opposed to the team using a mid-round pick on a kicker, like they did last year with Ryland.

2024-04-15 22:13:00
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