Patriots Mailbag: WR trade targets and imagining an alternate draft

Patriots Mailbag: WR trade targets and imagining an alternate draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2024 NFL Draft is finally in the rearview mirror. But the Patriots’ work has just begun.

Head coach Jerod Mayo’s group of draft picks and undrafted free agents will be at Gillette Stadium later this week for rookie minicamp, with the veterans joining them for organized team activities later in the month.

And while No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye represents hope for the future, this team is very much still a work in progress. That was reflected in the questions you have about this team, which we’ll tackle in our first post-draft mailbag.

Let’s get to it…

So with the scrutiny of the Polk and Wallace picks. Would it have made more sense to just draft Patrick Paul an actual left tackle at 37 and then take Tez Walker in the 3rd? Instead of Polk at 37 and Wallace who is a massive project?

— Andrew Caraway (@Caraway6) May 3, 2024

Andrew, I see what you’re saying here. Not sure that would’ve been a better path, though. Patrick Paul is not a surefire starter at left tackle either, it’s my understanding. He has some incredible physical gifts, but he has his fair share of technical refining to do. And there were teams who had some injury concerns with him.

To me, getting a receiver like Polk who could end up being a security blanket of sorts — because of his hands and toughness — wasn’t a bad way to go at No. 37 overall.

I found it interesting when Brian Hoyer joined us on draft weekend and explained how it was more important to find Drake Maye a go-to receiver rather than a left tackle because tackles can, at the end of the day, be helped. Receivers need to be able to win one-on-one in critical situations. Only so many rub routes you can run to help a pass-catcher execute in a tight spot.

Polk probably isn’t a No. 1. And Caedan Wallace may not be a left tackle. But I think if you’d gone with Paul in the second round and a receiver in the third, your odds on filling…


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