New England Patriots

Report: Patriots' pre-draft meetings include two talented Day 2 WRs

The Patriots could be in the mix for a WR in the second and/or third rounds.

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The New England Patriots need to upgrade at wide receiver before next season, and acquiring one (or two) in the 2024 NFL Draft is probably the best remaining avenue to accomplish that objective.

If the Patriots select a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round, then it would make sense to take a wideout on Day 2, either in the second and/or third round.

Two wide receivers who could be available on Day 2 of the draft include North Carolina's Devontez Walker and Central Florida's Javon Baker.

The Patriots are doing their due diligence on both wideouts in the form of 1-on-1 meetings.

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda reports that Walker met with Patriots, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

Pauline also reported in March that Baker has meetings set up with the Patriots, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs.

Walker had some eligibility issues for North Carolina last season and didn't play the entire campaign. But Walker was effective when he got on the field. He tallied 41 receptions for 699 yards with seven touchdowns in eight games. He was UNC quarterback Drake Maye's No. 1 wideout. He's fast, he's a good route runner and he has pretty good size at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.

Walker also tested quite well at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this year.

Walker is projected to go in the second round in some mock drafts. Our insider Phil Perry projected Walker would land with the Patriots (along with Maye) in the second round of his seven-round mock draft last month.

Baker is more likely to be a third-round pick. He caught 52 passes and set career highs with 1,156 yards and 11 touchdowns in 13 games for the Knights last season. He's a smooth route runner with good explosiveness and enough toughness to win 50-50 balls against defensive backs.

If the Patriots do take a quarterback in the first round, their next two picks during Day 2 should be spent on an offensive tackle and a wide receiver. Those are the two positions, after QB, that need the most upgrading before next season. A lack of high-end playmakers at wideout was a huge problem for the Patriots last season.

Luckily for the Patriots, the 2024 draft class is pretty deep at both wide receiver and offensive tackle. So it wouldn't be surprising if New England is able to find a good player at these positions on Day 2.

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