Because one of the quickest ways for any team to immediately begin a new era besides bringing in a new head coach is to draft their next franchise quarterback, it is expected the Patriots will be doing that with the third overall pick.
According to experts who continue to publish mock drafts, New England will likely take LSU's Jayden Daniels, mainly because Drake Maye and Caleb Williams are expected to be the first two players off the board on night one. Drafting Daniels would be finally righting the wrongs of the past when Bill Belichick chose to take two players over Lamar Jackson, and it would a sign that a new offense will be coming to Foxboro this fall.
But that plan may not be so easy to travel, at least according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
In an article published on Saturday morning, the NFL reporter revealed what he has been hearing regarding quarterback needy teams and the possibility of them trading up to get the one they want. Since the top three teams are expected to take signal callers, Fowler believes teams like the Raiders, who have the 13th overall pick, and the Vikings, at No. 11, may want to move up to get their guy.
"The Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) might be a team to watch. New coach Antonio Pierce is a big fan of Daniels from their days together at Arizona State, and word is that Pierce evaluated offensive coordinators with the loose possibility of Daniels in mind. People around the league are keeping an eye on the Minnesota Vikings at No. 11, too. They did a lot of quarterback homework last offseason and could eventually target one high in the draft with free agent Kirk Cousins' future in Minnesota uncertain. But moving from No. 11 into the top three would cost GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah a ton of draft capital."
Disregarding the Vikings for the most part, since it seems more unlikely they'll actually trade up, the Raiders allegedly building a staff around the idea of drafting Daniels is a significant development that could negatively impact the Patriots. He has consistently been the player the Patriots take in mock drafts, and although that's nothing official, it's a factor to consider by experts.
If Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce is completely sold on Daniels as the future of the team, it wouldn't be shocking if he does all that he can to get him on opening night. It seems unlikely he would accomplish trading ahead of the Patriots, but anything is possible, right?
However, the silver lining in all of this is that plenty will change between now and the draft. The combine results and how free agency pans out will alter teams' plans and the rankings of the incoming draft class, which could work in the Patriots' favor.