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Patriots Predicted to Select No. 1 in the 2025 NFL Draft

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New England Patriots inside linebacker coach Jerod Mayo on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

The New England Patriots finished last season with a 4-13 record. It was the franchise’s worst finish in 31 years. The 13 loses helped secure New England the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. After bringing in a new coaching staff, eight draft picks, and having several key players returning from injuries (15 Patriots players ended 2023 on injured reserve) there would seem to be reason for optimism and excitement for the coming season. However, not everyone agrees.

Based on ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index, the Patriots are not predicted to improve their standing in 2024. The FPI projects New England to finish with the worst record in the National Football League for the upcoming season. This was ESPN’s description of how they came up with their results:

“The Football Power Index is our ratings and projection model for NFL teams. In the preseason, the model’s overall predictive ratings are based primarily on win totals from ESPN BET in conjunction with each team’s schedule — along with factors such as the strength difference between a team’s starting and backup quarterback and a revamped special teams rating based primarily on new predictive kicker ratings. We use these team ratings to simulate the season thousands of times, creating our projections.”

Last Across the Board

If anyone expects New England to have a miraculous Super Bowl season, the FPI projections suggest not holding one’s breath. The Patriots aren’t only projected to have the fewest wins based on their simulations (4.9), but the gap is wide between New England and teams just a few spots ahead of them. Only the Carolina Panthers (5.4) and Denver Broncos (5.8) are within 1.5 wins of the New England Patriots projected total.

The FPI projections give New England a mere 1.6% chance to make the playoffs. Their chances of winning the AFC East are listed at 0.5%. The Patriots join the Panthers as one of two teams with a likelihood of reaching the Super Bowl rounded off to 0.0%. Their chances of winning a title are therefore even lower, but can’t be rounded off any lower than 0.0%.

On a positive note (relatively speaking) New England received the best chance to land the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NFL Draft at 22%. Carolina is close behind at 21%. Denver is the only other team with more than a 7% chance of landing the first overall selection. Likewise, the Patriots are the most likely team to finish in the bottom five, given a whopping 66% chance to do so. The Panthers (63%) and Broncos (51%) are the other NFL teams with more than a 37% chance to finish bottom five.

2025 NFL Draft

Draft history shows that teams often look for quarterbacks at the top of the draft. Teams needing a quarterback try to trade up to acquire one. If these projections are correct, the Patirots could find themselves in an enviable position at next year’s draft.

The Patriots picked Drake Maye third overall in this April’s draft. That eliminates the need to dip back into the QB pool again in 2025 barring something extremely unforeseen. This means New England could find themselves in a position to draft a top non-quarterback or trade the pick for an attractive package of players/picks as Chicago did in the 2023 NFL Draft. That year the Panthers gave the Bears a bundle to acquire the first overall selection to draft Bryce Young. Chicago received four draft picks (2023 first, 2023 second, 2024 first, and 2025 second) plus wide receiver D.J. Moore. Eliot Wolf would likely move a 2025 pick in a heartbeat for a similar package.

Ranking the 2025 NFL Draft prospects is still in the extremely preliminary stages. However, some top players who don’t play quarterback expected to be taken early include defensive end James Pearce Jr. (Tennessee), offensive tackle Will Campbell (LSU), and cornerback Travis Hunter (Colorado).

A silver lining exists in these projections for the New England Patriots and their fans. If the Patriots go on an incredible run and have a successful season it will shock the football world and please Patriots Nation. If the projections prove accurate, New England will be in an excellent position to land a stud player, get a monstrous package, or perhaps both. Somehow the team ESPN believes will almost certainly be atrocious in 2024 finds itself in decent shape, regardless of how 2024 plays out.

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