Patriots Mock Draft Roundup: It's quarterback or bust for New England

Florida v LSU
Florida v LSU / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

As the 2024 NFL Draft approaches, the path for the Patriots becomes clearer in the experts' consistently updated mock drafts. Although a lot can change between now and the draft, especially with the combine coming up, one thing seems certain amongst most who evaluate the rookie classes: the Patriots should select a quarterback in the first round.

Since the draft order was made official, that has been the most common position mock drafted to the team. The only thing that has changed is who that quarterback might be.

Until the last month or so, the University of North Carolina's Drake Maye was considered the best fit for the team, especially under Bill Belichick. But now that Jerod Mayo has entered the fold and the two teams ahead of the Patriots in the draft are expected to take the top quarterbacks, New England has become the favorite to take LSU's Jayden Daniels.

The latest batch of mock drafts continues with that assumption, with nearly every updated mock choosing the Patriots to select the dual-threat signal caller.

At this point, it's beginning to feel like quarterback or bust for them in the first round, despite the rumors of potentially drafting the best tackle third overall.

ESPN: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Matt Miller wrote:

"It's a new regime in New England, and much like Quinn in Washington, coach Jerod Mayo will have the opportunity to bring in a franchise quarterback to build around. Neither Mac Jones nor Bailey Zappe is the answer. As a former NFL linebacker and defensive coordinator, Mayo knows all too well what a dual-threat QB like Daniels brings to the field.

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Daniels has elite open-field speed and vision as a runner, and he's the best deep-ball passer in the draft class. He threw 40 touchdown passes in 2023, and an FBS-leading 22 of them were on throws of more than 20 air yards. Daniels was the most improved player in college football after dedicating himself to playing better within the pocket, and his draft stock has soared from Day 3 to here." Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Lance Zierlein wrote:

"Harrison is an easy plug-and-play option here, but it will be interesting to see if the Patriots feel pressured to take a QB at No. 3."

The Athletic: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Chad Graff wrote:

"After spending time at the Senior Bowl, it sure seems like the Patriots are focused on drafting a quarterback with the third pick. The assumption here is that Caleb Williams and Drake Maye went with the first two picks. That leaves Daniels as the obvious choice for the Patriots. The biggest knock on him, according to one scout at the Senior Bowl, is his slender size (6-foot-4, 210 pounds). Executives are hoping he’ll put on some weight before the combine to alleviate some concerns about the hits he’ll take in the NFL. There’s no questioning, though, his performance in 2023 en route to the Heisman Trophy. The former four-star prospect went through some middling times early in his collegiate career before throwing for 40 touchdowns this season against only four interceptions." Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Yahoo Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

CBS Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Josh Edwards wrote:

"New England has a new head coach in Jerod Mayo. It will be difficult to shake the Patriot Way because everyone will be comparing his decisions to what Bill Belichick may have done. It is in his best interest to remove some of those connections to the past and commit to the future." Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Eric Edholm wrote:

"If there's a lesson I've learned over the years, it's that wherever you have quarterbacks going in your February mock drafts, there's a darned good chance they'll end up going higher than that come April. So let's just skip that step and give the Patriots a style of quarterback they've never really had. I can't wait to see an NFL offense built around Daniels' talents."

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