The New England Patriots have several options on how to best utilize the No. 3 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Patriots clearly have needs at quarterback, offensive tackle and wide receiver in what has to eventually be a total overhaul of the personnel on that side of the ball.

If New England instead tries to trade down and has different positional ideas on early priorities, what could make sense?

While upgrades could be useful at other offensive positions, the Patriots have decent options and would likely turn to adding talented depth to a capable defense that featured an extra effort in the second half of the 2023 season.

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With that mindset, the Patriots could look to upgrade at these positions:

Edge Rusher
Matthew Judon enters the last year of his deal and Josh Uche only re-signed for one more season. That’s solid production, but that’s not exactly a lot of security for the Patriots in terms of playmakers who can pressure the quarterback. Knowing that the team enters a multi-year rebuild, finding their next true edge rusher could be enticing if a trade sends New England to a different pick.

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On the board, Alabama’s Dallas Turner ranks among the top prospects at his position, racking up 22.5 sacks during his career after a 10.0 sack season in 2023.

Getting to learn from Judon and Uche, who each have 10+ sack seasons in their careers, could benefit the future defender if the Patriots choose that direction.

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The Patriots appear to have their No. 1 cornerback of the future in Christian Gonzalez, who just may have been on track for a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidacy before a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 4 of the 2023 season.

Depth has since been an issue for the Patriots. J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones are gone, Jonathan Jones still fits in to work in the slot and Marcus Jones looks to return from injury. Could the Patriots work to find another outside corner to pair with Gonzalez?

Alabama could once again provide an answer in Terrion Arnold, who picked off five passes with 12 more defended for the Crimson Tide in 2023. Additionally, his combine performance stood out at the position and could influence the Patriots to add another talented piece to the future.

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