What if the Patriots don't take a quarterback in the first round?

Rumors abound about which QB the Patriots might select, but what if they don't take one in the first?

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Patriot Nation is all abuzz about which quarterback the Patriots will have available at pick No. 3 in the first round. One of the top three in the draft will be there for the taking. It's a nice situation to find oneself in. Yet, for all the hubbub and rumoring, the team may decide to go in another direction with that third pick, or even trade down to amass more draft capital.

Will that necessarily be a bad thing if they decide to go in a different direction? There are many answers to that question, including taking anyone, but a top quarterback is not an option. But is that the case? Of course, there is no right or wrong answer on draft day or perhaps for a few years.

So, let's assume they pass on a quarterback in the first round. What happens then?

Among the many options is that the team trades down, possibly remaining in the top six or seven, and picks up more picks to help rebuild a terrible offense. While perhaps disappointing to some, if not many, could that be a positive for the team? But first, let's assume they do make a pick with the third overall selection.

The New England Patriots stay at pick No. 3 and select...

The beauty of the 2024 NFL draft is that at the top, there are perhaps seven or eight or so top offensive players from whom to choose if you have the top pick. If you sit at three like the Patriots, two may be off the board, but the remaining choices are still outstanding.

In addition to a quarterback, the Pats need offensive tackles, plural. Their OT room is bare. The whole shebang needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom. Drafting one of the top two tackles who may be available at pick No. 3 is anything but a bad decision. No OTs, no offense. It's as simple as that. The top two are tall tower, Joe Alt of Notre Dame, and Olu Fashanu of Penn State.

Both are offensive left tackles (OLT), your second most important position. If you have a great quarterback and no tackles, you're still in the proverbial dumpster. It's a chicken or egg scenario. But suffice it to say, if you land Alt or Fashanu at three, you most likely have shorn up the OLT position for a decade with top talent. It's an excellent strategy, and a high second-round pick could deliver a nice QB to boot. No real problem with that here.

Alternatively, you could swing for the fences and, if he's still on the board, take the best wide receiver in the draft and maybe for years, Marvin Harrison Jr. from Ohio State. He's a legitimate superstar in the making. Since Julian Edelman retired, the Pats WR room has been a mess. Land Harrison, and you immediately have a No. One receiver is capable of delivering 100 catches per season. There's no problem with that here, either.

The Patriots could also trade down and hit it big

Since one or two of the players previously mentioned, or maybe one of the three top quarterbacks, may still be available at No. 5 or even lower, a trade down to amass more premium picks (rounds 1-3) is not to be scoffed at either.

Stay in the top six or seven, and you'll still be solid. You'll get a top offensive player at his position in this draft, a potential future star, and have more picks to fill in the remaining weaknesses on an offense that needs help everywhere. It's not at all a losing proposition.

Additionally, a wild card choice after a trade down, or dare we dream, even two trades down, and you may still get to select the best tight end in the draft, and maybe even the best player, period, Brock Bowers of Georgia. That would put a cherry on top of the cake. And again, you've added more premium picks (or you don't trade!) to the Patriot draft coffers.

Those are just a few possible scenarios available to the New England Patriots, depending on who's available when and the team's inclination. As noted here on multiple occasions, the only possible way to mess this draft up is to go outside the consensus drafting norm and pick a head-scratcher player. Hopefully, with a new man in charge, that won't happen.

The thought here is this: whoever makes the selections, Elliot Wolf or someone else, the positive options are numerous, and he'd have to go way outside the bounds of common draft sense to mess it up. That's why Patriot Nation should be excited at the prospects available to the Pats in this draft. There may be no right or wrong answer, maybe just all reasonable answers. And that's a very nice position to be in.

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