Next Pats Podcast

Should Patriots follow in Bengals' footsteps with ‘Joe Burrow model'?

Could the Patriots look to draft a top QB and WR in back-to-back drafts?

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After the New England Patriots' upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft may now be just out of reach. It's no surprise that New England will be in the hunt for one of the draft's top quarterbacks, but a pick outside of the top three could really limit their options.

When discussing different options that the Patriots could have in the upcoming draft on the latest episode of the Next Pats podcast, NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry recommended that New England tries to replicate the Cincinnati Bengals' "Joe Burrow model" from the 2020 and 2021 drafts.

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"This to me is the one you shoot for if you're the Patriots," Perry said. "You've got to hit. The Patriots are looking like they probably won't have the number one overall pick, but boy, if you think that guy is there, the Joe Burrow model is why you go get him -- and you go get him right now."

With the first pick in the 2020 draft, the Bengals selected the Heisman-winning quarterback out of LSU to be their franchise quarterback. While some debated that Justin Herbert was the more talented quarterback, Cincinnati viewed Burrow as a better fit for its system.

"The Bengals went from one of the worst teams in the league, to drafting Joe Burrow, remaining one of the worst teams in the league, drafting Ja'Marr Chase, and absolutely taking off," Perry added.

Burrow suffered a season-ending injury 10 games into his rookie year, and the Bengals finished 4-11-1 to land a another high draft pick. With Tee Higgins' 908 receiving yards leading the team, Cincinnati knew it needed to give Burrow more weapons -- so the team drafted Chase with the fifth overall pick in 2021.

"They go from drafting near the top of the draft for two years in a row to a double-digit win team and Super Bowl contender in very short order," Perry added.

Burrow and Chase have become one of the league's best duos, complemented by their former draft picks in Higgins and Joe Mixon. Perry mentioned that this model only works if you hit on the right quarterback and receiver. If Marvin Harrison Jr. falls to New England, the Patriots could take him and look to next year to draft their franchise quarterback. If the Patriots are set on Caleb Williams or Drake Maye, they could trade up to take their guy and look to the next draft to find their franchise receiver.

While Bill Belichick's future remains unknown, his offensive drafting history definitely leaves fans concerned.

Another noticeable struggle in New England's offense is the line. While they do play a major role, Perry also notes that Burrow's line hasn't been anything special, yet they still continue to produce.

"He has not been protected," Perry said of Burrow behind Cincinnati's offensive line. "The team has still been good. They've still been contending."

Could drafting a top quarterback and wide receiver in back-to-back drafts be the answer? We'll likely be stuck asking questions like these until the season ends and Belichick's future is decided. For now, the Patriots are on to Kansas City.

Also in this episode:

  • Is it time for Robert Kraft to step in on roster decisions for the betterment of the team?
  • What does the Malik Cunningham move tell us?
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