Next Pats Podcast

Scouting the best WR options for Patriots at No. 34 overall

There should be plenty of explosive 'X' wideouts available early on Day 2.

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In an ideal world, the New England Patriots will emerge from the 2024 NFL Draft with a potential franchise quarterback, a starting-caliber offensive tackle, and at least one high-upside wide receiver.

Fortunately for de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and his staff, the 2024 class is deep at all three positions -- particularly at wide receiver. While Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze all could be potential top-10 picks, a host of talented wideouts might slip to the second round, where New England has the No. 34 overall pick.

So, if the Patriots want to take a receiver at No. 34, what are some names to remember?

NFL Draft expert Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan has scouted the entire 2024 receiver class and joined our Phil Perry on a new Next Pats Podcast to share his list of wideouts worth taking early in the second round if they're still on the board at No. 34.

🔊 Next Pats: How can the Patriots weaponize their offense with WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Here are some guys that, if they are there, you definitely want," Hunt said. "Brian Thomas of LSU, if he's there. (Adonai) Mitchell of Texas, if he's there. Xavier Legette of South Carolina, if he's there. Those are guys that are bona fide outside guys that can win (1-on-1 matchups). Javon Baker of UCF, if he's there."

Thomas and Mitchell are pegged as mid-to-late first-round picks in most mock drafts, so they might be long shots for the Patriots at No. 34. But Legette is an intriguing prospect who's drawn pre-draft comparisons to A.J. Brown, and Hunt is also bullish on Baker, comparing the UCF product to a talented young Pittsburgh Steelers wideout.

"He's very George Pickens-like in terms of snatching the football and having that dog mentality," Hunt said of Baker. " ... Guys that have great hands and great hand-eye coordination, you can slow the ball down with your eyes. ... Baker has that. That's why you see somebody who has super focus when the ball is coming his way."

Hunt also highlighted Florida State receiver Keon Coleman, who was viewed by some as a first-round prospect before running a disappointing 4.61-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. While Coleman may not possess elite top-line speed, Hunt believes the 6-foot-4, 215 wideout has excellent footwork, even suggesting that Coleman has "better releases" off the line of scrimmage than Harrison Jr.

Highlights of Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman

"His footwork is where it needs to be," Hunt said of Coleman. "That also tells you a lot about how they can set defenders up and how they can work themselves open. So, while a guy may be faster than Keon Coleman, Keon Coleman can create separation because he's so shifty within his route-running and is able to separate and find that opportunity.

"You know who else was that tall, returned punts in college, people questioned his speed and now he's well-known for his route-running? Keenan Allen."

Hunt also identified a few potential Day 3 sleepers for the Patriots at receiver, including Terrell Owens' son, Terique Owens. Check out the full episode here or watch on YouTube below.

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