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What the Patriots Need: Guide to Life After Belichick

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024 is a date that will forever live in the minds of New England Patriots fans forever. After going through a grueling 2023 season with a record (4-13) that no NFL weekly predictions expert could have seen coming, legendary Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stepped down from his job.

Now, after appointing former linebackers coach Jerod Mayo as the team’s new head coach, and with a completely new road ahead, the post-Belichick road, what will 2024 hold in store for the six-time Super Bowl champion Patriots?

New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick
New England Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick is pictured prior to the NFL American football match Indianapolis Colts vs New England Patriots at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on November 12, 2023 - Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

With needs for a complete revamp on offense amongst other needs, let’s talk about the Patriots and their immediate future.

 

NFL Draft: A New Era Means a New QB!

I’ve been saying it ever since he entered the league and I’ll say it again: Mac Jones has never been the answer to New England’s QB problems. I don’t care if he had a 10-7 record in his first season, Jones is not it. He will never be it.

That in itself is why if you’re an NFL betting fan, you can bet everything you want that New England will be looking to find its new franchise QB in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, and with the incoming rookie class stacked up to the brim with young and talented QBs, the Patriots should have no problem finding their guy.

So, who should the Pats target?

Firstly, let’s just do the obvious here and take Caleb Williams out of the equation – unless something extremely strange happens. Even if New England holds the third pick, Williams, the overall favorite in our 2024 NFL Draft odds list, will most likely not be there when the Pats hit the clock.

 

That leaves the Patriots with two clear routes.

Either go with the safe choice, North Carolina’’s Drake Maye, if he’s available. Or, given the team will be starting a new era, go with LSU’s Jayden Daniels, a quarterback with a skill-set completely different from what the Patriots are used to having.

If I were the one picking here, Daniels would be my choice. While he might not have all the solutions to New England’s problems, he will be much better than all of the team’s QBs combined.

 

Free Agency: Hit the Market With Offense in Mind

So let’s assume the Patriots did the right thing and drafted a QB at No. 3. OK? Cool. Revamping the QB department with a player that could actually get the job done with the right tools and training could become a key element for NFL game predictions next season.

The next mission at hand will be to surround the rookie passer with some strong veteran playmakers on offense to make his transition into the pros easier.

Here is where hitting the free agency market looking for a strong veteran wide receiver will be key.

While signing one of the top free agent wideouts in next season’s market will be quite the feat for the Pats, instead of trying to land guys like Mike Evans or Tee Higgins, for example, a player like Michael Pittman Jr. seems like the perfect answer.

With enough cap space to take on a strong, expensive contract and the need for a proven playmaker to help their rookie QB, Pittman, who is coming off his best season in the pros with the Indianapolis Colts, is the answer.

Besides that, re-signing guard G Mike Onwenu and finding a substitute for offensive Trent Brown, who will most likely leave the team this offseason, will be key. Knocking on the door of Cincinnati OT Jonah Williams could be a pivotal move here.

 

Outlook: After 2023, Any Improvement is Welcome.

Again, when talking about drafting a QB, especially LSU’s Daniels? While he might not have all the solutions to New England’s issues, he will be much better than what the team is working with right now.

Also, I like the idea of Mayo taking over as head coach. It feels like the best move for the Pats to stick with a guy that knows the ins and out of the organization.

As long as New England can get over the post-Belichick slump sooner rather than later, I can see this team having a respectable first season in its rebuild.

Would I take them as NFL betting odds favorites next season? Capital N and capital O.

Do I think they’ll be better next season? Yes.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Who is the Most Influential Patriots Player?


When speaking historically, of course former QB Tom Brady stands out as the most influential Patriots player ever. At present time, outside linebacker Matthew Judon takes the title of most influential player in New England’s roster.

 

Should Patriots Add a WR to the Roster?


Yes, the Patriots should definitely think about adding one or more new WRs to their roster via the draft and free agency.

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