New England Patriots

Patriots have these odds to earn No. 1 pick in 2024 NFL Draft

The race for the No. 1 pick is not a familiar scenario for the Patriots.

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The New England Patriots are having their worst season in more than two decades, but there could be a fantastic reward at the end of this brutal 18-game campaign.

The Patriots are 2-8 after losing 10-6 to the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday's Week 10 game in Germany. It was a new low point for a franchise that, for most of the season, has played awful offensively. Mac Jones has not improved as the starting quarterback, and the amount of talent and depth at wide receiver is weaker than it's been in a long time.

Fortunately for Patriots fans, help will come at some point in the form of a 2024 first-round draft pick. Right now, the Patriots are slotted in the No. 3 spot, although the order could change quite a bit between now and the end of the regular season.

What are the odds the Patriots actually slip all the way to the No. 1 overall pick?

ESPN Analytics gives the Patriots a 4.8 percent chance, which is the fourth-highest odds of any team. New England's projected draft slot is around the fifth pick.

The last time the Patriots had a top-five pick was 1994. They selected USC linebacker Willie McGinest with the No. 4 pick. McGinest played with the Patriots through 2005, played a key role on three Super Bowl-winning teams and was named to the team's Hall of Fame.

The previous year saw the Patriots select Washington State quarterback Drew Bledsoe with the No. 1 pick.

Bledsoe and Jones (15th in 2021) are the only two quarterbacks the Patriots have taken in the first round of the draft since 1983.

It's possible the Patriots take another QB in Round 1 in 2024 given the impressive talent and depth of the upcoming class. USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye are the top two QB prospects, but Washington's Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon's Bo Nix are worth a look, too.

The Patriots badly need a No. 1 wide receiver as well, and Ohio State star Marvin Harrison Jr. projects to be that kind of player. He's one of the best WR prospects in a long time.

The 2024 NFL Draft will be a pivotal event in the future of the Patriots franchise. It has the potential to make or break this team's chances of getting back among the AFC's elite in the short term. Therefore, it wouldn't be the worst outcome if the Patriots continued to lose games this season to ensure they get a top five pick.

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