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NFL Draft primer: Patriots' glaring need is quarterback — but they won't have the pick of the litter

2023 record: 4-13, missed playoffs

Draft picks per round

1st Round: No. 3
2nd Round: No. 34
3rd Round: No. 68
4th Round: No. 103
5th Round: No. 137
6th Round: No. 180
6th Round: No. 193 (from Jaguars)
7th Round: No. 231 (from Bears)

(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

Top needs

Quarterback
Offensive line
Wide receiver

It’s all about quarterback now in New England, who traded Mac Jones in March. The Patriots figure to have a shot at one of their top guys with the third overall draft pick, and they need to surround him with an improved line and better wide receiver play than a unit that was arguably league-worst last season.

Best first-round fits

Drake Maye, QB, UNC
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Best Day 2 fits

Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

How they did last draft

The Patriots earned a B-plus. Christian Gonzalez’s rookie year was cut short, but he was looking like a star cornerback before his torn labrum. Keion White is a solid rotational defensive lineman and they’ll be looking to get a bit more impact from the players they drafted on the third day of the draft last year.

Dream fantasy draft pick

There are several NFL offenses that need a fresh coat of paint. Not the Patriots — these guys need to knock down walls and start over. New England's quarterback of the future will likely be selected later this month, but the quarterback draft board might be deep enough for the Patriots to trade down and stockpile assets, landing both a franchise QB and a running mate receiver in the same day. Maybe New England can buy low on Jayden Daniels and later pair him with his LSU teammate, speed merchant Brian Thomas Jr. — Scott Pianowski