Full 7-round 2024 NFL mock draft: Patriots trade up to No. 1 overall in post-Bill Belichick rebuild

The New England Patriots parted ways with the greatest coach in NFL history, signaling a much-needed reboot last week.

They are slated to pick at No. 3 in the 2024 NFL draft, which puts them only two spots away from the top of the board and complete control of their first-round pick. Quarterback is the clear direction for the Patriots, unless they want to continue playing a bad game of tag between Bailey Zappe and Mac Jones.

They could certainly leave things up to chance and get their guy at No. 3, but they’d run the risk of missing out on Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, who are widely regarded as the top-two options at the quarterback position. Or, they could start the post-Belichick rebuild off with a bang by being aggressive and trading up to get their guy.

That’s what happens in this mock draft with the Patriots trading their 2024 first-round pick, 2024 third-rounder and 2025 first-rounder to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 NFL draft.

Round 1, Pick No. 1: QB Caleb Williams, USC

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

There’s a reason why Caleb Williams’ name continues to pop up at the top of nearly every mock draft board. He has rare arm talent that allows him to make some of the most ridiculous throws you’ll ever see on tape.

You always want to be careful when throwing elite quarterbacks out there as comparisons because Williams is still unproven at the NFL level. But some of the throws he was able to make in college were Patrick Mahomes-like. Does that mean he’s a lock to be the next Mahomes in the NFL?

No. But he has an exceptionally high ceiling that gives him the best chance out of all of the quarterbacks in the draft of one day being considered elite at the next level.

Round 2, Pick No. 34: OT Jordan Morgan, Arizona

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots were either going to have to part with a second or third-round draft pick as part of a package deal with the Bears. They get lucky enough to keep their second-round pick in this draft, which enables them to address the offensive line with the No. 34 overall pick by selecting Arizona offensive tackle Jordan Morgan.

Some view Morgan as a first-round talent given his exceptional pass-protecting abilities. He’s a legitimate athletic specimen at 6-foot-5 and 325 pounds. The Patriots are entering free agency with Trent Brown’s contract pending. They could potentially lose guard/swing tackle Mike Onwenu, who is also on an expiring deal.

That might leave them in a desperate spot when it comes to addressing the offensive line. Morgan would be a huge lift to the tackle position by giving the Patriots a legitimate prospect as a foundational piece, instead of staying on that same carousel of used-up veterans.

Round 4, Pick No. 103: TE Cade Stover, Ohio State

Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots could look to add a receiver at this spot, but they end up addressing another major need by selecting Ohio State tight end Cade Stover in the fourth round.

None of the Patriots’ tight ends are currently under contract for the 2024 season, and they could be facing a complete overhaul at the position. It would be shocking if they didn’t at least attempt to re-sign Hunter Henry and maybe Pharaoh Brown, which would ease the transition for a young player like Stover.

Regardless, this is a solid pick-up for the Patriots with a player that has shown the ability to serve as both a reliable blocker and offensive weapon at the collegiate level. He is also a gifted playmaker with the ball in his hands. His YAC ability should make him an instant safety blanket for whoever the Patriots have under center at quarterback.

Round 5, Pick No. 135: OT Kiran Amegadjie, Yale

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Kiran Amegadjie is an enforcer that has consistently shown the ability to dominate in the trenches. He might get overlooked on some draft boards due to him playing at the Ivy League level, but that would be a big mistake considering his incredible physical gifts.

He has a strong motor with great footwork and tremendous balance when battling in the trenches. There’s a cerebral part to his game as well that aids in him generally winning at the point of attack.

The Patriots didn’t do a great job of addressing the offensive tackle position in 2023. So they make up for it here by double dipping with the Amegadjie and Jordan Morgan picks.

Round 6, Pick No. 181: EDGE Jonah Elliss, Utah

Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The clear direction is offense for New England in this mock draft. However, they avoid completely ignoring the defensive side of the ball by taking Utah EDGE rusher Jonah Elliss in the sixth-round.

Elliss is a raw prospect with the speed to bend the edge, but he’s going to need an upgrade with the moves in his pass-rushing arsenal. The Patriots could be moving on from veteran pass-rusher Josh Uche, who is set to hit free agency this year.

Elliss would help them work towards filling that pass-rushing void, while also giving them another young defensive talent to develop behind the scenes.

Round 7, Pick No. 228: RB Rasheen Ali, Marshall

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott returning for another year would be ideal for the Patriots, but the cost of keeping him might not be. The team still has Rhamondre Stevenson as the lead back, and Kevin Harris showed significant improvements down the stretch.

They could still use a reliable third-down back that could work his way into the mix. Look no further than Marshall running back Rasheen Ali. For years, the Patriots have excelled when utilizing third-down backs that basically act as an extra receiver on the field.

Ali can be that for New England. What he lacks in brute power and downhill running, he makes up for it with his reliable hands and YAC ability.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire