Patriots Team Review
The Patriots will be heading in a different direction for the first time in over two decades, as they don’t have Tom Brady or Bill Belichick on the team. The Patriots signed Jared Mayo as their new head coach, and they did that quickly after Belichick’s departure. Mayo is going to have a lot to do to fix this team.
On the offensive side of the ball, they were the worst team in yards per game and the second worst in points per game. They have an apparent hole in a quarterback that they have not seemed to fill since Brady left. The combination of Cam Newton and Mac Jones left very little to offer the team. The offense lacks talent on the outside and a true WR1 on the team. The tight end position will see Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki depart as free agents. The Patriots allowed the ninth most sacks this past season, and they are potentially losing Trent Brown and Michael Onwenu to free agency.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots were -11 in turnover ratio, which was the fifth worst in the league. They had ten interceptions and eight fumbles during the season. They also sacked the quarterback the least amount of times in the NFL, with only 36. The defense will also need new young talent on the roster. The team is hopeful they can bring Kyle Dugger back to the team. They are losing a couple of average starting linebackers. They have some pieces, but they could use a few more to help create pressure and force more turnovers.
1.03 Jayden Daniels, QB LSU
The Patriot’s first pick in the 2024 draft may shock some folks, but it’s the right move. It could be a different quarterback if one of the first two picks were Marvin Harrison Jr. Also, Harrison was in consideration, but why bring in a talent that has no offense around him? Plus, it’s a deep receiver class. The pick for the Patriots is Daniels, who is coming off a Heisman trophy-winning season.
He has an elite arm and amazing mobility, making him a perfect dual-threat quarterback for the next level. The Patriots need to get a star under center and bring the fans back to loving Patriots football. The Patriots’ current quarterback starters lack upside and big play ability. Daniels has shown all of that in 2023.
Daniels is an intelligent quarterback who will blend well with Mayo. Daniels should be able to ignite an offense left for dead and less than desirable to watch in 2023. The new head coach deserves a fresh, young, elite quarterback to start his tenure. In an interview with WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton(1:26), Mayo stated: “We’re gonna draft the best player for a position that is very important.” The quarterback is the most critical position in football, so Daniels makes sense.
2.34 Tyler Guyton, OT Oklahoma
In the second round, the Patriots need the offensive line if they cannot return some of their players from the free agents. Guyton was a great tackle with four seasons in college, as he only allowed one sack in 973 snaps. He played right tackle the last two seasons but has experience at left tackle and left guard. The most important thing is that the Patriots need to ensure they can protect Daniels as much as possible. At times, he can be shaky in his pass protection, but he could play either tackle or even more into playing guard. He would be a great player to work up in the Patriots system that could help start day one.
3.68 Adisa Isaac, Edge Penn State
In the third round, Mayo finally takes a player, Isaac, to help his defense. Last year, the Patriots were not great at pressuring the quarterback. Isaac, in these previous two seasons, had 27.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He is an edge rusher with a high motor and will move quickly to get the quarterback. He would likely fill in as a rotational player early on and has the potential to be an every-down player. Last season, he was decent in coverage when he had to cover opposing quarterbacks at a 47.9 QBR when thrown his way. He could be a star in this new-look Patriots defense.
4.103 Brenden Rice, WR USC
In the fourth round, the Patriots bring in the HOF son of Jerry Rice, Brenden Rice, from USC. Rice was never one of those receivers who blew up the stats but finished 791 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. The Patriots need a new big receiver in this group, as aging Devante Parker can’t seem to stay on the field. They have speedy Demario Douglas and a slot receiver in Juju Smith-Schuster, but they need a 50/50 guy on the outside. Rice can do that. He has an alpha dog mentality in his game. He has natural hands and can be a solid YAC receiver as well. Rice has a big play ability to make some crazy catches. They must bring a playmaker to go along with Daniels in his rookie season.
5.135 Jaheim Bell, TE Florida State
In the fifth round, they stay on the offensive side of the ball for a position that needs a difference-maker. Bell can be that young tight end that shines last season. He posted 503 yards in this only season at Florida State. He was a fluid athlete who could run routes well and was a big target for any rookie quarterback. He also saw work as a running back in one of his seasons at South Carolina. We know the Patriots love having hybrid-style players on their roster. Bell needs to improve his pass protection, but he could be a great addition to this young offense.
6.181 Ty’Ron Hopper, LB Missouri
Mayo gets another defensive player to help with the holes in the linebacker unit. Hopper was a two-year starter at Missouri, putting up 94 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks. The Patriots could be losing Josh Uche, who didn’t do as well this year, so they need to find his replacement. Hopper could be a late-round gem to start day one for the Patriots’ defense. He needs to work on his tackling techniques, but he has been solid in coverage and a strong rusher off the edge. Hopper will be at the Senior Bowl, so he is someone to watch out for.
7.228 Cedric Johnson, Edge Ole Miss
The last pick of the Patriots draft is Johnson, from Ole Miss. He was a three-year starter there where he had 100 tackles, 19 tackles of loss, and 16 sacks in three of four seasons. He made it on Bruce Feldman Freak’s list due to his size and speed. The Patriots were dead last in sacks in 2023. They need to find ways to create more pressure. If coached right, Johnson is a raw prospect who could be a good player.
Of course, if Daniels goes third overall in the NFL draft, he will have a high draft spot in fantasy. We love quarterbacks with a rushing ability to the game, and Daniels has just that. He had 3,300 rushing yards in college. He would be a top-five pick in rookie drafts.
Unfortunately, the rest of the rookies would likely be third or fourth-round picks in rookie drafts. If Brenden Rice is drafted in the fourth round, he would likely be a late third-round pick. He could jump into the starting lineup very quickly for the Patriots. He would have value for a later-round pick. Bell has some work to do before getting good fantasy value. Unless it’s a TE premium league, He would be a late fourth-round pick to an undrafted type of player. For IDP, Isaac would be an exciting player to grab, likely in the second round of drafts. He has sack value in drafts. Hopper would have late-round value that could turn into a gem.