5 dark horse candidates to be Patriots' QB in 2024

Don't let a single victory fool you. The Pats need to make a change.

New England Patriots, Bailey Zappe
New England Patriots, Bailey Zappe / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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2. Riley Leonard

Let's say the Patriots decide to draft their next quarterback in the spring. Of course, they could go with either Williams or Maye early on in Round 1. But, the Patriots have rarely done things the way we would anticipate them to be done.

Maybe, the Patriots look at drafting a quarterback in the second or third round. If so, one possible option is Duke's Riley Leonard.

Leonard is a 6-foot-4 pocket passer, but also possesses quick footwork and an innate ability to sense pressure and then navigate from it. In fact, he's a much better runner than you might think at first glance. Combining his last two seasons with Duke, Leonard has gone over 1,000 yards on the ground with 17 touchdowns.

As a passer, Leonard has a big arm and throws with a lot of zip on his passes. Again, he's able to sense pressure well and manuever around it while still being able to fire off an accurate pass. Adjusting his throwing motion under pressure is also something he does well, while not suffering much of a loss of accuracy.