Patriots Mock Draft Roundup: QBs and trade downs dominate recent picks

LSU v Florida State
LSU v Florida State / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

For most of the offseason, the consensus was the Patriots would select a quarterback with the third overall pick, officially resetting their offense with a new franchise player. That's how analysts and fans went about their mock drafts, with every week changing who that quarterback would ultimately be.

Although much of that has remained, the idea of New England trading away their pick to another team needing a quarterback is being entertained more, resulting in more variety in the mock drafts.

From wide receivers to tackles, the Patriots are on the board in the first round for every top position they need in this year's draft.

Pro Football Focus: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Trevor Sikkema wrote:

"This is no secret: The Patriots are in desperate need of a quarterback to truly believe in. They have been in this state since Tom Brady‘s departure. Sure, some moments gave them hope, but the Mac Jones pick in 2021 ultimately proved to be a flop.

Jayden Daniels — or Drake Maye, if we’re being honest — gives the Patriots the chance to believe. If you were just looking at tape from 2023, Daniels had the best season of any quarterback in this draft. The rest of New England's offense is a work in progress, but this pick is a cornerstone to build around."

CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Kyle Stackpole wrote:

"A trade down wouldn't be shocking considering the other needs the Patriots have, but by far the biggest priority is locking down a franchise QB. They draft Drake Maye believing he can be that guy." Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Lance Zierlein wrote:

"The Patriots are willing to pass on the quarterback position with the third pick in order to add more draft capital for their rebuild. After moving down, they grab the wideout with the highest ceiling in the draft."

Pro Football Network: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

PFN staff wrote:

"The shadow of Tom Brady casts long over Gilette Stadium, and multiple passers have failed to emerge from it. Mac Jones is the latest to succumb to the pressures of playing the position for the New England Patriots, traded away this offseason and opening the door for the franchise to select a signal-caller in the 2024 NFL Draft as a new era begins behind head coach Jerod Mayo.

In this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, former Arizona State and LSU dual-threat Jayden Daniels presents an exciting adjustment to the QB spot. The Patriots haven’t had a true dual-threat play the position in recent times, and Daniels’ development as a passer during his time in Baton Rouge, La., combined with his explosive playmaking out of structure, make him a dangerous weapon to face." Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Evan Lazar wrote:

"Fashanu needs to clean up his technique in the run game, and the Ohio State tape might scare off some teams (six QB pressures allowed). However, the Penn State product is a ready-made blindside protector with elite upside, particularly if he can improve his pad level and footwork in the run game."

Touchdown Wire: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Jordy McElroy wrote:

"There’s no need to complicate things. If the Commanders take Drake Maye, then Jayden Daniels should be the pick for New England. If the Commanders take Daniels, then Maye should be the pick. If someone is willing to offer a king’s ransom that’s too rich to turn down, then the Patriots should consider trading back. The latter didn’t happen in this mock draft, and the Patriots ended up coming away with the most versatile offensive player on the entire draft board. Daniels is the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft, which means the Patriots may not have to wait as long to see a return on their investment."

CBS Sports: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Pete Prisco wrote:

"The Patriots will decide between Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy in this spot, and I think it will be McCarthy. That's way too high for him in my eyes, but the word is the Pats really like him."

ESPN: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Mel Kiper wrote:

"I made the case for the Patriots trading down in my Mock Draft 3.0, but if this is the way the board shakes out, I think they're more likely to take Maye and secure their franchise quarterback. Of course, they thought they were doing that in 2021, when they drafted Mac Jones in Round 1, and Jones is now the backup in Jacksonville. Evaluating quarterbacks is hard, but I have a top-10 grade on Maye, who is an elite deep-ball thrower.New England largely brought back all of its key free agents this offseason, but it hasn't added much to an offense that ranked 29th in yards per play (4.6) last season. Drafting Maye is a start, but the Pats still have a long ways to go to compete for the AFC East title."

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