Livescore Friday, April 12

Curran: Pats need to hit on X receiver after past failed attempts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots offense needs an overhaul. Along with their obvious need for a quarterback, which can be addressed with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the wide receiver position must be addressed.

As of Tuesday, the Patriots’ receiver room includes K.J. Osborn, Kendrick Bourne, DeMario Douglas, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Jalen Reagor, and Kayshon Boutte. Even if New England finds its franchise QB, those options won’t set up the signal-caller for success.

The Bill Belichick-led Patriots tried and failed to find elite wideouts early in recent drafts. Thornton was selected in the second round of the 2022 draft, and N’Keal Harry was taken in Round 1 in 2019.

After missing out on the top free-agent receivers this offseason, the post-Belichick regime will hope to end their draft drought later this month. Our Tom E. Curran explained just how important it is for the Patriots to upgrade the position.

“You ever go to the store, spend some time, come back home, and realize you got the wrong thing? And then you have to go all the way back to the store and try and return it,” Curran said on the latest Quick Slants. “And they might not take it, and you have to throw it away. Or worse yet, you think you have the right thing, you get it home, you try and develop it, you think it’s gonna work, and it’s not what you want.

“It’s kind of the Patriots’ experience a wide receiver for, oh, I would say the last decade and a half, and they gotta cut it out. And the best way to cut that out is to draft and develop. And this is a prime draft for the Patriots to draft and develop a wide receiver.”

Fortunately, there will be plenty of intriguing wide receiver options for New England in the 2024 draft. Our Phil Perry identified the “prototypical” fits for Eliot Wolf and Jerod Mayo’s squad.

If the Patriots want to add a potential game-changer to their offense, they’ll have the opportunity to do so.

“There are oodles of players at the position who can help the Patriots of all stripes,” Curran added. “You’ve got Xs, you’ve got slot guys, you’ve got route runners, you have extreme explosive players. There’s probably like six or seven that might go in the first round, and there are still gonna be some there at the beginning of the second round.

“So the Patriots can get fat at wide receiver and as I’ve said, if they want to trade down in the first round out of that top three, they can add one of these high-end guys like Rome Odunze.”

Hear everything Curran had to say about the receiver position in the video below:

Wolf has his work cut out for him in his first draft as the Patriots’ de facto general manager. In addition to QB and receiver, the offensive line is a major position of need heading into 2024.

Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25.

Watch the full “Quick Slants” episode below or on YouTube:

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