The Patriots face an important offseason following their worst season in three decades, but there’s a common theme desired by head coach Jerod Mayo.

New England implemented changes to its grading process and how it views prospects that are sharply different from the way Bill Belichick ran things. Mayo made clear the franchise still wants to follow the foundation his predecessor set, but there could be a new-look team entering the 2024 season.

Mayo and his coaching staff stressed they wanted to put players first, an idea that seemed to be neglected in recent years. The Patriots head coach also preached toughness, which is exactly what he’ll be looking for in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“Look, everyone wants the big arm, the mobility, and things like that. But I think it’s important to get a sense of what type of competitor they are and their toughness,” Mayo told reporters Wednesday, per Evan Lazar of “You get on the film, and you talk through things. You want to see how they respond to adversity on the field, and you want to talk about some of the adversity they had off the field.”

Story continues below advertisement

New England could have its pick between Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels with the No. 3 selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, and Mayo elaborated on what he meant by “mobility” when it came to a quarterback prospect.

“When you talk about mobility, you have to put it in two buckets,” Mayo said. “There’s one where it’s pocket awareness, where guys can slide around in the pocket and still run a 5.2 [second] 40. There’s another type of mobility where you have the quicker guys that can get outside the pocket. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

This year’s draft class has no shortage of potential fits for the Patriots, and the important thing for Mayo, director of scouting Eliot Wolf and director of player personnel Matt Gorh will be meeting players in Indianapolis one-on-one to determine if they will be fits for what they want to build in New England.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images