Patriots Mock Draft: Pats crush it in this post-Belichick 3-round draft

Patriots address their greatest needs in an atypical draft.

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With the 3rd pick in the 2024 NFL draft. the New England Patriots select

The third pick this season is the highest Patriot pick literally in decades, probably back to selecting Drew Bledsoe with the first overall pick in the 1993 draft. The Pats needed a quarterback, and then head honcho Bill Parcells (a very astute drafter) went with a clear consensus pick and took Bledsoe. While not of Hall of Fame caliber, Bledsoe was a solid performer and led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 1996.

The team similarly is in dire need of a new leader and signal caller, one of necessity since prematurely jettisoning Tom Brady after 2019 and sealing the football fate of both the team and Belichick in the process. Expect former incumbent starter Mac Jones to possibly be traded, but don't expect much in return. After a flying start, Jones fizzled out and will be ticketed out of town either this offseason or next.

Fortunately for the Pats, they didn't ruin their opportunity to select one of the top three quarterbacks in this draft. Three are routinely expected to be selected in the top 10 picks, if not in the top three. The feeling is that any of the top three available, Caleb Williams of USC, Drake Maye of North Carolina, or Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels of LSU, would fit the bill.

The Pats desperately need a quarterback, and one of the top three in the country will be there for them at pick No. 3. Whoever is there, you select. Popular opinion, if not wisdom, would suggest that Williams and Maye may be the first two selected. Fine. The remaining quarterback, Jayden Daniels, may be the best of the lot anyway. He's a bonafide, certified dual-threat player who passes and runs equally impressively.

The selection here for New England is easy, if not one that can be questioned a bit positionally. You take Daniels and prepare to continue with a potentially groundbreaking offensive draft. Any offense will be dysfunctional without top players all over the lot. And it's on offense that this entire draft should be centered. This team needs fortification at several positions on offense.

The Patriots also need two top offensive tackles and two top wide receivers (and selection of one of the same with the third pick or after a trade down for more picks would not be a complete disaster). Yet, the fact remains that the quarterback is the king on the chessboard. If you have everything else and no quarterback, you'll still flop. You take Jayden Daniels, whose ability to run will help in the short term while other key needs still need to be filled.