There is only one position the Patriots can successfully rebuild around

The Patriots must do the right thing and draft a quarterback at number 3
Mar 25, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA;  New England Patriots head coach Jarod Mayo talks to media during
Mar 25, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jarod Mayo talks to media during / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

After a downward trend over the last few seasons, the New England Patriots have found themselves at a crucial juncture. Getting back to the team's winning ways hinges on its most valuable asset: the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Patriots can become a contender again if the team makes the right additions and it starts with the third pick.

New England must address some weaknesses, especially on offense. They need help at the offensive line and wide receiver, and it is difficult to build around those positions. Teams have tried that and failed. The two that immediately come to mind are the Detroit Lions with receiver Calvin Johnson and Jacksonville with offensive lineman Tony Boselli.

The good news is that the draft is deep at wide receiver and offensive line this year. That will allow the team to focus on those areas after the first round.

Drafting a top quarterback is the only way for the Patriots to compete in the AFC

Overall, the conference's top squads are all experiencing the benefits of investing in a first-round quarterback to become a real contender.

The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Joe Burrow, who led them to a Super Bowl in his 2nd season. Meanwhile, Josh Allen has emerged as a true leader for the Buffalo Bills, helping them win four consecutive AFC East titles. Lamar Jackson, a two-time NFL MVP, has demonstrated incredible skill and agility, leading the Baltimore Ravens to the AFC Championship Game last season.

Last year, the Houston Texans drafted CJ Stroud as the second overall pick in 2023. Stroud's impressive performance helped the Texans win a playoff game in his rookie season and earned the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

We can only discuss the league's top young quarterbacks by mentioning Patrick Mahomes, who has led the Chiefs to four Super Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl victories in his first seven seasons, making them the most recent NFL dynasty.

The Patriots could use these blueprints to develop a young quarterback who can grow and thrive within the team's system. With the right approach, the Patriots may recapture their winning ways.

Given the strong talent pool in this year's draft, the team must make careful player evaluations and wise draft day selections to avoid mistakes.

With the No. 3 overall pick, New England can pick one of the top three quarterbacks: Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. Caleb Williams will likely get drafted number one overall by Chicago, leaving the Patriots to choose between Daniels or May (depending who Washington takes).

 Maye is an outstanding athlete with great potential, a strong arm, size, and athleticism. On the other hand, Daniels is a versatile player with the unique ability to extend plays with his legs and has excellent deep throw accuracy. Both players are exciting prospects for the Patriots. If given the opportunity, their talents could lead to an impressive offensive performance on the field.

There's no question the Patriots can't afford to make mistakes with their player evaluations before the 2024 NFL draft.