Patriots' first-round trade-down scenario looking more realistic after latest visit

2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Jamie Schwaberow/GettyImages

Since teams were allowed to speak and meet with 2024 Draft candidates earlier this year, the Patriots have been consistent with who they have expressed interest in becoming who they have spent more time with. The most significant position on that list is unsurprisingly quarterbacks, with Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy remaining as the top prospects.

New England has met with the three players on multiple occasions, including the Combine and each of their Pro Days, and now inviting them in for a top-30 visit.

Outside of the presumed top-10 quarterback picks of the class, they also spoke with Oregon's Bo Nix, who is projected to be a second-round option if the team chose to hold off on the position with the third overall pick. But until this week, Nix had been the only second-tier signal-caller they made an effort to speak to.

That changed on Monday when NFL insider Ian Rapoport revealed the Patriots were meeting with Washington's Michael Penix Jr., a player who seemed off their radar throughout the entire offseason thus far besides attending his Pro Day, which went predominately under the radar.

Top-30 visit with Michael Penix Jr. could suggest Patriots' plan to trade down in the first round

It's an interesting development since they had many opportunities to speak with Penix before this week yet never chose to. This could be just a bunch of smoke since we are so close to the start of the draft.

It could also be a hint that the new regime is more seriously considering trading their coveted first-round pick, a scenario Jerod Mayo left open.

Because the Commanders' selection with the second overall pick will ultimately dictate what the Patriots will do with their selection, meeting with a quarterback who should be available to take early in the second round is the team doing its due diligence.

There have been plenty of rumors connecting them to the Vikings involving trade talks, which would be more welcomed since they have two first-round picks in this year's draft. That would allow the Patriots to bulk up their offense with receivers and offensive linemen while keeping their second-round pick for Penix.

What will actually happen come draft night will be a highly anticipated moment in New England, especially since this is the team's highest selection since drafting Drew Bledsoe in 1993.

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