Longtime Patriots reporter believes team should not draft a first-round QB

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Because we are in the heat of mock draft season, especially those in New England, and the Patriots look like they need a quarterback, most projections have them taking a signal caller with their first-round pick. At this point, they've locked up the second overall selection, at least for now, which puts them in a great position to potentially grab their next franchise player.

The consensus has them taking Drake Maye out of the University of North Carolina since USC's Caleb Williams will likely be the first off the board. And although Maye can be a debatable choice, he is considered one of the top quarterback prospects of the 2024 draft class, which has a significant meaning for a team in dire need of an upgrade.

But not everyone is on board with going the QB route despite having the highest draft pick in over 30 years. Since taking any player is basically a crap shoot, including a quarterback early in the first round, the idea of taking a standout receiver like Marvin Harrison Jr. is too much to pass on for some, including NBC Sports Boston's Tom Curran.

The likelihood that a receiver will be a fantastic player that high in the draft is more of a guarantee than a quarterback, as we've seen some highly-touted QBs go early and look like busts just a few years later. Some would even say that applies to Mac Jones, although he wasn't taken until the 15th pick.

It's a risk that Curran is unwilling to take, as he shared his ideal scenario while debating how the Patriots should handle their first-round selection on "Quick Slants" earlier this week.

"So to me, I look at this whole situation, and I say if I'm the New England Patriots, and I am drafting in the top three, I am one million percent considering trading out of that spot, especially if it's No. 1 or No. 2, especially because of the needs. We've talked about on this program with expiring contracts, jumping out of there, going ahead and adding Marvin Harrison Jr., who's a wide receiver, and the best available offensive tackle. Get yourself set up there, spend well in free agency. Find your quarterback later on."

It's not a horrible plan in theory, but waiting to take a quarterback is also incredibly risky.

If the Patriots are not sold on Maye, taking Harrison Jr. would be a smart move since they also need to improve their offensive weapons. However, they need a quarterback almost more than anything, so if Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe aren't the guy, then prioritizing the position in the draft should be their way of thinking.

The most ideal scenario if Harrison Jr. is the first pick would be to trade back into the first round, maybe even into the top 10, and then take a quarterback, like Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, or Michael Penix Jr. That way, you immediately hit on your top two biggest needs and go from there.

That would require the organization to throw out all of their old habits of how they go through the draft process, but with so much at stake, including Belichick's job, throwing everything but (or maybe including) the kitchen sink seems like the most appropriate thing to do right now.

The problem is, will they actually do that? Given the potential ramifications, it feels like a no-brainer.

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