Way-too-early first-round targets for the Patriots in 2024 NFL Draft

Will New England stand pat at No. 3 or make a trade?

Sep 9, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10)
Sep 9, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Target #3: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Has anyone said that the Patriots need a quarterback yet? It’s hard to imagine a scenario where New England doesn’t go quarterback with its first pick, but there are undoubtedly talented options at other positions. Maye has been a consensus top-two QB among mock drafts, and I don’t think Patriots fans will be complaining if he lands in Foxboro.

The only concern here is the regression from 2022 to 2023. Maye passed for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions in 2022 while throwing for 3,608 yards and 24 touchdowns with 9 interceptions in 2023. He also rushed for 698 yards and seven TDs in 2022 compared to 449 yards and nine TDs in 2023.

If those seasons were flipped, no one would bat an eye. Maye has proven that he can get it done at a high level; he just needs to regain his momentum.

Target #4: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

A non-quarterback, you say? At the No. 3 spot, the Patriots are in prime position to select Harrison Jr., assuming picks one and two are QBs. Ever since he emerged with a three-touchdown performance in the 2022 Rose Bowl (2021 season) for a loaded Ohio State team as a freshman, he has been on everyone’s radar.

He went on to total 2,613 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns for his collegiate career, was a 2023 Heisman finalist, and won the 2023 Biletnikoff award as the nation’s best receiver. Landing a talent like Harrison would be huge for the Pats, whether they address QB later in the draft or via free agency.