The Patriots only are a week removed from their 2024 draft, but it’s never too early to look ahead to next year’s seven-round event, right?

That’s what ESPN’s Jordan Reid did in a very early 2025 mock draft published Thursday morning. The NFL analyst determined the first-round order via Super Bowl LIX odds, which currently situate New England as a Lombardi Trophy longshot. Thus, Reid positioned the Patriots third overall, the same spot the franchise selected quarterback Drake Maye last week.

And in his super-early 2025 mock, Reid projected Jerod Mayo and company to bring in Maye’s new blind-side protector.

“The Patriots’ starting left tackle this season will likely be Chukwuma Okorafor,” Reid wrote. “He’s on a one-year deal, meaning New England should be searching for a long-term solution to protect the blind side of Drake Maye. Campbell is a technician who plays with poise, displaying the foot quickness and balance to mirror and match defenders in pass protection. He has only played left tackle (1,625 total snaps) during his career at LSU and didn’t allow any sacks last season.”

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New England did address its offensive line later in the draft after selecting Maye, grabbing Caedan Wallace and Layden Robinson in Rounds 3 and 4, respectively. Robinson is a guard, however, and Wallace might prove to be better suited on the interior as well. So, tackle very well could be a major area of need for the Patriots next spring.

The emphasis on boasting a stout O-line might kick up a notch in 2025, too. Next season could be the first campaign as a starter for Maye, who might spend most of his rookie year learning and developing behind veteran Jacoby Brissett.

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