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Perry’s 2024 Mock Draft 5.0: Pats-Vikings trade produces a bounty

Perry’s 2024 Mock Draft 5.0: Pats-Vikings trade produces a bounty originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present to you The 2024 Tom E. Curran Mock Draft!

No, Tom’s not writing this one. But we wanted to put together a mock that lays out what exactly the Patriots could come away with if they go ahead and execute the kind of trade our fearless Patriots Insider has supported ever since the Vikings added a second first-round pick.

Minnesota now owns No. 11 overall and No. 23 overall in the 2024 draft after a trade with the Texans, potentially offering a team like the Patriots the chance to move down the board, turn one pick into two (at least), and build up their collection of talent at non-quarterback premium positions.

It’s a good idea, in theory, if the Patriots aren’t convinced that the quarterback available to them at No. 3 overall is a franchise-changer.

But, as we laid out here, it’s far from a sure thing to land cornerstone pieces at receiver and tackle with first-round picks outside the top 10. Hitting on both? It’s a true long shot.

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For those reasons, this isn’t a strategy I would support. Just to be clear. But being the good friend that I am, I wanted to give Tom a chance to see how it’d look if his trade-down approach played out the way he thinks it should on the first night of the draft next month.

Let’s get to the picks, which include the Patriots’ second-round selection at No. 34 overall…

You know it. I know it. The Bears know it. Caleb Williams knows it. The most talented quarterback in the draft is headed to Chicago.

If the name of the game is explosive playmaking ability, the quarterback with 90 plays of 20 yards or more last season should be on his way to Washington.

  • Vikings receive: No. 3 pick

  • Patriots receive: No. 11 pick, No. 23 pick and Vikings’ 2025 first-round pick

3. Minnesota Vikings: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Minnesota takes one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the class — one who worked with Vikings quarterbacks coach Josh McCown in high school — to complement an extremely talented receiver corps for the foreseeable future.

4. New York Giants: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Seeking an upgrade over Daniel Jones — who has a potential opt-out after the 2024 season — the Giants trade a future second to get a bit of an unknown at the quarterback position who they believe can be a franchise’s leader. The Cardinals continue to stockpile picks under general manager Monti Ossenfort.

Justin Herbert’s dream come true. Yes, the Chargers just drafted a boundary receiver in the first round last year. But Quentin Johnston isn’t Marvin Harrison Jr. This pick also sets up a fascinating marriage between a Buckeye and a Michigan Man in Jim Harbaugh, who threw to Harrison Jr.’s dad Marvin during Marvin’s first two seasons as a pro with the Colts.

6. Arizona Cardinals: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

The Cardinals traded back, added draft capital for 2025, and still landed a player some would argue is the top wideout in the class. Not a bad job by them.

The Titans continue on their rampage of adding really, really good players this offseason. They got the top receiver in free agency in Calvin Ridley. They got the top corner changing teams by trading for L’Jarius Sneed. And now they get the top tackle in the draft. Kudos, Ran Carthon.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

The Falcons have added and added and added again on the offensive side of the ball. They pass, then, on the top receiver remaining on the board in order to take the best defensive player in the class.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Caleb Williams should be a happy man after seeing this pick fly off the board. Odunze’s strength and football IQ should make him an impact player right away for the Bears.

Aaron Rodgers gets an athletic prototype to protect his blindside when Joe Douglas turns in the card for Fashanu. While the class is stacked with tackle talent, there may not be many true left-tackle types. Fashanu is one.

11. New England Patriots (via Vikings): Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

Fautanu makes all kinds of sense for a team that still needs a left tackle. He’s not massive at 6-foot-4. But he has long arms (34.5 inches), and he’s one of the best athletes at the position in this year’s class. His explosiveness was apparent at this year’s combine as he recorded vertical and broad jumps that ranked in the 91st and 90th percentile, respectively.

Despite his height, he checks what appear to be the critical offensive tackle boxes for execs who’ve sprouted from the Ron Wolf tree, meaning his length and movement skills — combined with a nasty on-field demeanor — could be exactly what Eliot Wolf is looking for.

What’s fascinating about this pick is that Oregon quarterback Bo Nix remains on the board and the Patriots pass on the opportunity to take him. Nix landed on our Prototypical Patriots list of quarterbacks for this year — one of only five passers to do so — but history suggests trading down and then drafting a quarterback in the first round is a bad idea.

Alex Barth of 98.5 The Sports Hub did an excellent job here of tracking those types of selections. Over the last 30 years, here are the first-rounders teams selected after moving down: Kerry Collins, Cade McNown, Patrick Ramsey, Rex Grossman, Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel.

If you give away the chance to take a quarterback early because you’re not sold on him, odds are any other quarterback you’re considering isn’t worthy of your first-round pick.

This may be way too high for Nix, who hasn’t exactly blown people away with his pre-draft performance to this point. But he has some similarities from a playing-style standpoint to Drew Brees. And if anyone would fall for a Brees type, it’d be Brees’ former head coach, who’s now running the show in Denver.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

If the Raiders want to build a bully under new coach Antonio Pierce, few better ways to do it than by adding a player who looks like one of the scrappiest tackles in the draft. He also might be the best guard in the class if he ends up kicking inside.

Under Mickey Loomis, the Saints have had no issues chasing pass-rushers early in the draft. Verse is a big-time athlete with positional versatility who already looks like he’s ready to jar pro linemen with his power.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Hard to impress a group of scouts and coaches more than Mitchell did at this year’s Senior Bowl. Playing a lower level of competition in the regular season, Mitchell was clearly prepared to take on — and shut down — better talent down in Mobile, Ala.

How Latu tests may impact his standing in the first round. But he is a first-round talent. And the Seahawks could, with Latu’s addition, have a perfect fit for new head coach Mike Macdonald’s defense.

Arnold has an impressive track record against high-end talent in the SEC, and the Jags couldn’t be faulted for pulling the trigger on him here. They need corner help badly in Duval County.

Bowers may be too good to pass on at this point. For a team whose top tight ends at the moment look like they’ll be Drew Sample and Mike Gesicki, getting Joe Burrow another weapon isn’t a bad idea.

Another Senior Bowl winner, Guyton could get out to Los Angeles and chip in to Sean McVay’s offense immediately. He could be the answer at left or right tackle down the line, depending on where he’s needed most.

Mike Tomlin needs corners. DeJean went into the draft process with an injury, but he has some serious physical gifts that could make him a steal at this point in the draft.

The Dolphins still need help along their offensive line. They just lost a hulking guard to free agency in Robert Hunt. Latham could kick inside and take over that vacancy while also giving the team some tackle depth.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (via Browns): Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon

An interior lineman with an NFL-ready mind and the versatility to play guard or center, Powers-Johnson will help reshuffle the line in Philly in the wake of Jason Kelce’s retirement.

23. New England Patriots (via Vikings): Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell has what the Patriots need at the receiver spot. Size. Speed. Body control. Impressive ball-tracking ability. Contested-catch chops along the boundary. Explosive athleticism for after-the-catch playmaking, evidenced by his 4.34-second 40 time (94th percentile) and 11-foot-4 broad jump (98th percentile) at this year’s combine.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is here at this point in the draft in part because his engine doesn’t seem to run hot at all times. But when it does? Two touchdowns against Alabama. One score and 141 yards against Kansas. One score and 149 yards against Kansas State. One score and 109 yards against Oklahoma State.

If the Patriots get their hands on this Georgia transfer and coax more out of him on a consistent basis, they should have a legit No. 1 wideout on their hands.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

One behemoth tackle departs, as Tyron Smith heads to the Jets via free agency. Another, it just so happens, lands to Jerry Jones in the back half of the first round.

David Bakhtiari out. Suamataia in. This athletic tackle prospect is a little undersized. But he has the length and movement skills general manager Brian Gutekunst would covet to protect the edge.

The Bucs either need to replace Mike Evans (set to be a free agent) or get a future replacement for him. Thomas is a boundary threat with real juice.

27. Arizona Cardinals (via Texans): Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri

Arizona could use a third corner with good quickness and a willingness to tackle. Rakestraw has all of those qualities and would give head coach Jonathan Gannon a versatile piece with whom to play.

Barton is one of the top interior offensive line prospects in this year’s class, and the Bills have a need there. Don’t overcomplicate this one.

Wiggins may be too good to last this long given his length (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and his speed. But if he does, the Lions should pounce.

The Ravens have shown a willingness to invest in freak athletes from Penn State to play off the edge before. They took Odafe Oweh in the first round back in 2021. They do it again here by grabbing an intriguing physical talent with a fantastic name.

If the Niners want a ready-made interior rusher to play alongside Javon Hargrave and Nick Bosa, Murphy would be too hard to pass on here. He had 45 total pressures on 273 pass-rushing snaps last season, per Pro Football Focus.

Any doubt the Chiefs will be interested in an undersized wideout who just broke the record for the 40-yard dash in Indy? And he wasn’t just a one-even marvel at the combine. Worthy was one of the freakier athletes to perform throughout the week. Andy Reid will certainly figure out a way to get the most out of him.


33. Carolina Panthers: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

This athletic tackle prospect didn’t have a lights-out final collegiate season that would make him a surefire first-rounder, but he was coming off a torn ACL suffered in 2022. If he gets back to where he was pre-injury and continues to develop, the Panthers could get a steal here.

34. Patriots: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

After nabbing Mitchell in the first round, the Patriots kick off their Day 2 selections by taking one of Mitchell’s former teammates at Georgia.

McConkey is a well-rounded receiver at 6-feet and 186 pounds. He has the ability to uncover in a phone booth, but he also has the deep speed (4.39-second 40) to threaten safeties over the top. He’s an ideal “Z” receiver, who can be used all over formations, complementing Mitchell as a true “X” on the outside.

McConkey is an advanced route-runner who’ll create space for easy throws from whichever quarterback is behind center in Foxboro, and combined with Hunter Henry and DeMario Douglas (or K.J. Osborn) on the inside, he’ll give the Patriots a formidable collection of short-to-intermediate options.

Eliot Wolf said earlier this offseason that he planned to “weaponize” the Patriots offense. Taking two athletic receivers with rare skill sets on the first two days of the draft would certainly qualify.