With the Patriots in contention to possibly land the number one overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, a lot is being discussed about who they would likely select and their path to attaining their highest pick in (what will be) over 30 years.
As we enter Week 11 of the 2023 season, New England sits with a 2-8 record, placing them with the third pick of the first round. The Chicago Bears, who hold the first selection, and the New York Giants are currently ahead of them, making the Patriots Week 12 matchup with the Giants far more significant than anticipated.
Most experts believe USC quarterback Caleb Williams be the first player drafted, with North Carolina QB Drake Maye following right behind him. There's also the chance that Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. could overtake one of those spots, another player the Patriots are likely interested in.
So, looking at who the Bears and Giants may be hoping to take, there are questions regarding their desire to replace their current starting quarterbacks with a rookie.
Chicago still has Justin Fields under contract through 2024, and the Giants just extended Daniel Jones last season with a four-year, $160 million contract, keeping him in New York through the 2026 season. Both teams are projected to take signal callers regardless of their current rosters, but the latest rumor about the Giants suggests that may no longer be the case for them.
NFC East reporter Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports first revealed the rumor last week, citing multiple sources close to the situation who claim that many within the organization still believe in Daniel Jones and aren't necessarily ready to move on from him just yet.
"According to multiple sources, including one inside the Giants, some key people in the organization still have faith in Jones and believe their 26-year-old franchise quarterback can still be their long-term answer.
In other words, even if they end up drafting 1 or 2, they might still pass on taking a replacement and choose to continue building around Jones instead.
"There's a long way to go (until the draft)," said the team source. "But I don't think anyone has given up on him yet.""
It's not the most insane development, considering how much money they just gave him in a contract extension, but it does seem odd that history has shown how problematic Jones can be as their starting quarterback.
So, could they really pass on two prospects believed to be the best of the class?
According to another reporter, Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report, all signs point to Jones remaining the QB1 in New York, regardless of where they end up picking in the first round.
"Here's what I'll tell you. Daniel Jones has a $38 million guarantee next season... He will be with the Giants next season. You can book that right now. I also believe and am told that barring something dramatic, barring something extreme, both Joe Schoen, the GM, and head coach Brian Daboll will also be back next season. "
If this is true, that could open the door for Harrison Jr. to become the next New York Giant, which, in turn, broadens the possibility the Patriots land their next franchise quarterback in either Maye or Williams. That's significant news for New England, who may decide they are ready to move on from Mac Jones even before this season ends.
The only problem that may arise is the need to lose more games the rest of the season, especially next week's matchup with the Giants, in order to increase their chances of remaining in the top three.
Some fans have already hopped on the tank bandwagon and want to see them lose the rest of their season, hoping to acquire one of the top projected quarterbacks. And although it doesn't seem like something that Bill Belichick would actively or consciously try to do, it may be their best chance at turning the franchise around as soon as next season.