New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: New early-round predictions for Patriots

Should the Patriots take a wide receiver or offensive tackle in the second round?

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It might be hard to believe but the calendar is already into April, which means the 2024 NFL Draft is less than 30 days away.

The best approach for the New England Patriots to take early in the draft is selecting a quarterback -- whether it's LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Maye -- with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round. The real debate centers around what they should do at No. 34 overall in the second round.

The positions the Patriots need to upgrade the most after quarterback are offensive tackle and wide receiver. Luckily for the Patriots, the 2024 draft class is pretty deep at both positions.

Wide receiver is probably more of a need, so it should be prioritized in Round 2. A bunch of quality wideouts could still be on the clock at No. 34, including UNC's Devontez Walker, South Carolina's Xavier Legette, Texas' Xavier Worthy, Florida's Ricky Pearsall, Florida State's Keon Coleman and Georgia's Ladd McConkey, among others.

Legette might be the most intriguing of the group. He was actually featured in Phil Perry's list of Prototypical Patriots wide receivers earlier this week.

Here is Perry's analysis of Legette:

"It might be a little strong to compare another second-round receiver out of the SEC to AJ Brown. But can you blame us for wondering if Legette can have a similar trajectory as a pro? Legette is about the same size at 6-foot-1, 221 pounds. And he performed slightly better at the combine in the 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds), broad jump (10-foot-6) and vertical (40). He didn't clock a short-shuttle time, but from the information we have, Legette looks like one of the best fits for the Patriots in this draft class.

"Like (Julian) McMillan and McCaffrey, he's widely expected to be available on Day 2 of the draft. Thanks to his bulked-up frame and explosive movement skills, he appears to be an ideal option at No. 34 overall."

Highlights of South Carolina wide receiver Xavier Legette

Legette tallied career highs with 77 receptions for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games for South Carolina last season.

Which players should the Patriots target early in the 2024 draft? Here's a roundup of recent expert mock drafts.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington at No. 11; Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas at No. 23 (mock trade: Vikings send Nos. 11 and 23, along with a 2025 first-rounder, to Patriots for No. 3)

Field Yates, ESPN: Drake Maye, QB, UNC at No. 3; Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina at No. 34

Lance Zierlein, NFL Network: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU (Patriots trade down to No. 6 in deal with Giants)

Eric Edholm, NFL Network: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Doug Kyed, Boston Herald: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Arjun Menon, Pro Football Focus: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Bleacher Report NFL Scouting Department: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

The Ringer: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Rob Rang, FOX Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Tankathon: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

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