NFL Draft News & Analysis

New England Patriots 2024 NFL Draft picks, analysis and rookie spotlight

2X3B7E4 North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye poses after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the third overall pick during the first round of the NFL football draft on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Detroit. (Adam Hunger/AP Images for the NFL)

The 2024 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror. After a flurry of selections from April 25 to April 27, 257 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the New England Patriots‘ draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2024 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2024 Draft Picks

Maye — New England doesn’t have the ideal supporting cast on offense, but it would be difficult for the Patriots to pass on a quarterback prospect of Maye’s caliber here. The North Carolina product earned an elite PFF grade as a true sophomore in 2022 before following that up with another 90.0-plus grade in 2023. He has high-end arm talent and showed that he is comfortable making NFL throws over the middle of the field.

Polk — The Patriots continue to address their offense by getting No. 3 overall pick Drake Maye a new weapon to throw to. Polk is a quarterback-friendly target who is also a willing and engaged run-blocker. He produced an 82nd-percentile drop rate and a 73rd-percentile contested catch rate in his college career.

Wallace — The Patriots select a player who ranked 142nd on the PFF big board and 186th on the consensus big board. He may be coming off a season that saw him earn a career-high 68.8 PFF grade, but he was solid in pass protection last year, earning a 72.8 pass-blocking grade and allowing just 13 total pressures from 359 pass-blocking snaps.

Robinson — Robinson surrendered only six total sacks across 1,206 career pass-blocking snaps. He saved his best for 2023 when he allowed just one sack all season.

Baker — Baker averaged 3.21 yards per route run in 2023 to rank fourth in this draft class. He can also make plays downfield, averaging 21.9 yards per reception to lead the class.

Dial — New England selects a cornerback with a knack for making plays on the ball. Dial has 19 pass breakups over the past two seasons, fourth among SEC corners, and earned a career-best 79.2 defensive grade in 2023.

Milton — Milton has a huge arm, and this is a good spot for him to land. His 83.1 overall grade since 2022 ranked seventh among SEC quarterbacks, and 10 of his 20 touchdown passes in 2023 came on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield.

Bell — Bell is a great value in the seventh round. He earned a 73.4 PFF grade in 2023, ranking 13th among FBS tight ends. Bell is exceptional with the ball in his hands, ranking seventh among the same group in yards after the catch (315).


Rookie Spotlight: QB Drake MayeNorth Carolina

Scouting summary

Maye's scouting reports start with his superb arm talent. He has a quick trigger to get the ball out of his hand fast. That comes with a lot of velocity to rip throws of any distance through tight coverage.

His out-of-structure accuracy and touch are top-tier but can be inconsistent, which leads to Maye's biggest issue: ball placement. It doesn't seem to be a glaring footwork or motion issue, but he just simply misses throws at times.

He has plus mobility and is experienced at attacking the middle of the field. He is also willing to go through progressions in a spread formation, although he is still improving on where to look and when.

Click here to see Drake Maye's 2024 NFL Draft profile.
Wins above average

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric that evaluators can utilize to assess performance. It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Maye’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2021.
How Maye ranks in the stable metrics
Drake Maye’s percentile ranks in the most stable passing stats since 2021.

Whether he’s within structure or on the move, Drake Maye always has his eyes downfield. His 96.8 passing grade on throws 20-plus yards downfield ranked third among qualified quarterbacks in 2023.

Since 2022, Maye has thrown for 5,176 yards and 52 touchdowns when targeting receivers past the sticks, good for a 96.7 passing grade that leads all qualified quarterbacks.

The bottom line

Maye's arm talent alone puts him in the first-round and top-10 conversation. Though his ball placement and decision-making (including sacks taken) need improvement, he has all the talent tools you want to bet on as a franchise quarterback.

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