NFL Rumors: Patriots would have drafted this quarterback if Bill Belichick stayed

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Over the last two seasons in New England, it seemed abundantly clear that Bill Belichick was not on board with Mac Jones as the Patriots quarterback anymore. It became even more evident once reports revealed the head coach and quarterback weren't even speaking by the end of the season, to the point of Jones not being told he was a healthy scratch for the final game.

Rumors have swirled since he was drafted that Belichick never wanted to select him to begin with, hence his unexciting demeanor. And although other reports have conflicted with the speculation, by the end of the 2023 season, the Jones experiment in Foxboro was on its final legs if Belichick had anything to do with it.

With that being apparent to everyone who watched a Patriots game last year, the focus switched to the upcoming NFL Draft and the possible quarterbacks they could take to replace Jones as soon as next season.

Because they are set to hold the third overall pick, they'll have the best chance to find their next franchise player, and apparently, Belichick already had his eyes set on one in particular.

Bill Belichick is rumored to have wanted to right a past wrong in this year's draft

It may be more than a handful of years later, but Patriots fans are still grieving the miscalculation made by the team in the 2018 draft when Belichick chose to take Sony Michel and Isaiah Wynn in the first round, passing up the opportunity to select Lamar Jackson.

It is a decision that haunts them to this day, especially since they're still in a weird spot at quarterback, even four years after Tom Brady left the team. Now, they're set to have the chance to right that former wrong by drafting the right player this year, a quarterback and a new report suggests Belichick knew the guy he wanted.

According to NFL Network's Bridget Condon, had he remained the Patriots general manager and head coach this year, Belichick "loved Jayden Daniels" and had him "on the top of their draft board."

She further claims that he planned to do everything in his power" to ensure the Patriots made him their next quarterback, seemingly getting their version of Jackson seven years later.

Although it's not entirely shocking that Belichick would be all-in on one of the top-ranked quarterbacks of the class, it is interesting that of the players they could potentially draft third overall, he chose Jayden Daniels.

Most analysts believed he would be enthralled with North Carolina's Drake Maye due to his similar play style to that of quarterbacks the Patriots drafted in the past. But it appears he was willing to finally keep up with the trend in the NFL of teams wanting a more mobile player at the position, as Daniels is the most successful of all in that regard.

Another fascinating part of this is how Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf may also feel about Daniels and his fit within their new offense. They may agree with Belichick and have narrowed their search to him in the first round, too.

The problem is that he may be out of reach now, as the rankings have changed over the last few weeks, with some experts placing Daniels as the second-best quarterback over Maye. So, even though he would be an exciting addition to the team, selecting him could be unrealistic at this point.

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