February 24, 2024

Underdog report: 2024 New England Patriots

The once proud New England Patriots finished last in the AFC East for the first time since 2000. Here’s how they get back on top in 2024.

Biggest need: Quarterback

Mac Jones is no Tom Brady. Unfortunately, he’s no Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassel or Jimmy Garoppolo either. Among quarterbacks with at least 10 games played, only teammate Bailey Zappe (68.8) and Carolina’s Bryce Young (73.7) had a worse quarterback rating than Jones (77.0) in 2023.

Free agent target: OT Jonah Williams

With New England almost certainly drafting a quarterback with the third-overall pick and Jones still under contract, the team can afford to address other concerns in free agency with $69M in cap space for 2024 .

Williams wasn’t happy about giving up his left tackle spot to Orlando Brown Jr. last season, but had no problem adjusting to the right side. With starting tackles Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu now free agents, a player with Williams’ versatility is just what the Patriots need up front.

Draft Target: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

Holding the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, it appears the Patriots can sit tight and walk away with this year’s Heisman Trophy winner. Daniels completed 236 passes for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns for the Tigers last season while adding another 1,134 yards and 10 scores on the ground.