It's that time of year when mock drafts are all the rage, and everyone is participating in predicting who will go where come April 25th. It has been the focus for most Patriots fans since it was clear they would not be making the postseason again, and it has become the light at the end of the tunnel after another disappointing year.
Because they have the third overall pick, they will have far more players available to select than they have in several years. But what position will they address first? It's clear they need a quarterback, but they still need a wide receiver, and one could argue the offensive line needs some significant help.
So what do the experts have them taking?
With Jayden Daniels rising on the draft boards since winning the Heisman Trophy, he is now the favorite to land in New England. The dual-threat quarterback could be the right guy for the job and give Bill Belichick (assuming he remains with the team) a way to right his past wrong of passing on Lamar Jackson in 2018.
It would be the perfect opportunity to draft a guy who plays the direction in which NFL quarterbacks are moving. Although he would be vastly different than the quarterbacks the Patriots have historically rostered, his incredible performance would make their offense immediately better, which has been holding them back in recent years.
Perhaps that's why he is being mock-drafted to New England so much now.
If the Patriots draft a quarterback this year, experts believe it will be Jayden Daniels
Fox Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
Jason McIntyre wrote:
"This is a huge wild card, with the potential of a new coach and regime taking over. Anything in play. Trade down for more picks on a team devoid of talent? For now, I'll go with Daniels, who started 55 games in college and morphed into a legit dual-threat QB"
Pro Football Focus: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
Trevor Sikkema wrote:
"Week 18 will be a photo finish for one of the Commanders, Patriots and Cardinals to get the No. 2 overall pick. The Patriots and Commanders have the inside track with a much lower strength of schedule tiebreaker. But the Patriots should target a quarterback no matter what. If it isn't Maye or Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Daniels, is a special dual-threat talent — a worthy swing of the bat."
CBS Sports: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR - Ohio State
Josh Edwards wrote:
"With two of the perceived top quarterback prospects off the board, New England goes in another direction to address the wide receiver room. Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best prospect eligible for the draft."
The 33rd Team: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
Connor Livesay wrote:
"As we inch closer to the draft, we’re hearing more and more whispers about Jayden Daniels flying up draft boards and even putting himself in the QB2 conversation. The New England Patriots have holes all over their roster and could look to trade the pick to start their rebuild, but adding Daniels with a new coaching staff and support system seems like the best use of a top-three draft pick."
SB Nation: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB - UNC
Ryan Wilson wrote:
"The Patriots cannot come out of this draft without a quarterback. Drake Maye could push Caleb Williams for QB1, depending on the team -- and Jayden Daniels could be in the QB2 conversation, too. This QB class is deep at the top, so different teams will have different favorites."
USA Today: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote:
"Regardless of Bill Belichick's fate, an offensive overhaul seems sure to come in New England. Daniels hasn't been mentioned alongside Williams and Maye as a surefire top-three pick, but the Heisman Trophy winner has a highly desirable package of traits. While his athleticism and deep passing might be his hallmarks, his composure in the pocket should give any front office an additional level of comfort in projecting him to the next level."
The Athletic: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR - Ohio State
Nick Baumgardner wrote:
"A couple of things here: 1) Harrison is the best player in this draft, and people shouldn’t complicate that. He is a game-changing asset who can make a non-star quarterback (and a middling offense) better, immediately. And 2) This, at least for me, is still too early to take LSU QB Jayden Daniels — though I’m not about to rule out the Heisman winner here, with or without Bill Belichick’s return."
ESPN: Jayden Daniels, QB - LSU
Jordan Reid wrote:
“Daniels is an electrifying talent who brings downfield passing ability and rushing mobility,” Reid wrote. “His improvement during his senior season was remarkable, as he finished first in the FBS in Total QBR (95.6), touchdown passes from the pocket (35) and passing yards per attempt (11.7). His 40 passing TDs ranked second, and his 10 rushing scores tied for ninth among QBs.”