2024 NFL Draft

Report: Pats ‘will turn attention to draft' to address WR position

New England has reportedly "moved on" after losing the Calvin Ridley sweepstakes.

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Wide receiver was an obvious position of need for the New England Patriots heading into the offseason. Much to the chagrin of Pats fans, that remains the case with free agency in full swing.

That isn't due to a lack of effort on New England's part. It reportedly was a frontrunner to land star free-agent wideout Calvin Ridley before the Tennessee Titans swooped in to sign him to a four-year, $92 million deal on Wednesday.

So, with Ridley off the board, what's the backup plan? There are still some intriguing receivers on the free-agent and trade markets including Tee Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk, and Mike Williams. However, it appears the Patriots may punt on adding an impact wideout until next month's draft.

Shortly after Ridley joined Tennessee, CBS Sports' Josina Anderson reported the Patriots "will mainly turn their attention to the draft to address WR."

If Anderson's report is accurate, that would be a bold strategy for New England. Its current receiver depth chart consists of DeMario Douglas, Kendrick Bourne, Tyquan Thornton, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jalen Reagor, and Kayshon Boutte. That won't cut it, especially with the glaring lack of a reliable starting quarterback as well.

Then there's the Patriots' horrible track record with drafting wideouts in recent years. Since 2010, their list of receivers drafted within the first five rounds includes Taylor Price, Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, Malcolm Mitchell, N'Keal Harry, and Thornton.

The Patriots own the third overall pick in the 2024 draft, so they could use that selection on potentially generational talent in Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. However, it appears more likely they will use the pick to draft a quarterback, specifically LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Maye.

Regardless, waiting until the draft to add a difference-maker to the receiver room doesn't seem wise. Coming off a 4-13 campaign, the Patriots needed to approach the offseason with a sense of urgency. So far, it's fair to say they've fallen short of expectations.

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