Quick Slants

Curran: Pats ‘did what feels like the right thing' in NFL Draft

The Patriots addressed their biggest needs with their eight picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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Eliot Wolf and the New England Patriots received mostly positive reviews for their 2024 NFL Draft results. Although our Tom E. Curran believed the team should trade down from No. 3 overall, he's coming around on how the new regime addressed the glaring needs on the roster.

Earlier in the month, Wolf suggested the lackluster roster would be capable of supporting a young quarterback. The de facto general manager told reporters the team would "not have to draft for need as much offensively."

Those comments worried Curran, but Wolf and the Patriots ended up using seven of their eight draft picks to address the offense. After selecting UNC quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 pick, they added three pass-catchers, two offensive linemen, and another QB to the mix.

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"Thankfully, that didn't come to pass," Curran said of Wolf's pre-draft remarks on Tuesday's Quick Slants. "Instead, we got almost all offense almost all the time, which is a good idea when you have the worst offense in the NFL with no quarterback, a wide receiver group that won't wow anybody and a get-creative playing at left tackle. Singles and doubles. Dependable guys who play all the time. Why not take AD (Adonai) Mitchell instead of Polk in the second round? Because (Ja'Lynn) Polk's dependable. He's a Jakobi Meyers type, and it's nice to bring in one of those guys for a young quarterback rather than sending them out.

"So to sum it up, there were no hold-my-beer selections like a kicker in the fourth round. There was one minor trade-down. It was a whole lot of 'stick and pick' at positions that a team with an offense as unwatchable as New England's needed to make. So after floundering -- and they did in free agency -- the Patriots did what feels like the right thing in the National Football League annual player selection portion of the season."

Wide receivers Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker have skill sets that pair well with Maye's downfield-throwing ability. The offensive linemen -- tackle Caedan Wallace and guard Layden Robinson -- bolster a unit that entered the draft desperately needing an upgrade.

On paper, the Patriots are a better team following their 2024 draft. However, our Phil Perry wishes they went a step further and shored up the left side of the line while adding a wideout with true No. 1 upside.

"I like that they took a bunch of swings on the offensive side. I'm with you in that regard. Philosophically, nice job by the Patriots," Perry said. "Here's what I would say though in terms of a criticism. You went into this draft needing a left tackle, you went into this draft needing somebody who could play and live on the outside and be a true number-one receiver.

"I understand it's hard to get all three things that you needed -- add a quarterback into that mix as well -- in any one draft, but they only came away with really one of those three things. You're not sure at left tackle, you've got a couple of maybe twos to add to the twos and threes that you already have on the roster. So that's the criticism is that you went in with some real needs at really critical spots and you didn't necessarily -- obviously, at least -- address them all."

Only time will tell whether New England's "stick and pick" strategy was wise. The Patriots had a chance to trade down for a haul of assets and potentially expedite their rebuild, but they instead showed their belief in Maye as their next franchise QB. Not only will they hope Maye is the guy, but they'll also hope they set him up for success with the right weapons around him.

You can watch the full episode of Quick Slants below or on YouTube:

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