The Patriots Will Reportedly, Definitely Pick Their New Franchise QB 3rd Overall In 2024 NFL Draft

Jayden Daniels
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When New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo proclaimed earlier this offseason that his team was prepared to “burn some cash” in free agency, some writer with zero inside sources in Foxborough whose name escapes me read between the lines of all that Mayo said. You got to be careful about tipping your hand too early, Jerod! That’s right. The Patriots fully intend to pick a quarterback No. 3 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, per an actual insider report from Karen Guregian and Mark Daniels of

In the last article re: Mayo, I wrote that LSU’s Jayden Daniels would be an ideal fit for New England. A real shot in the arm for the franchise, who’d be getting a dual-threat playmaker to distance themselves from the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era in a very real way.

Funnily enough, it was reported earlier this week that Belichick loved Daniels, and wanted to do everything possible to draft him.

Having watched some of Daniels’ film, in spite of his gaudy passing numbers (72.2% completion rate, 40 TDs, 4 INTs), I was a little underwhelmed by what I saw from him at times as a pure thrower. That said, Daniels has Lamar Jackson-esque explosiveness as a runner. Jackson was a better passer entering the NFL in my opinion, but Daniels’ skill set is too tantalizing to pass up. He feels like the clear QB2 to me.

The current consensus continues to be that the Bears will draft USC QB Caleb Williams, followed by Drake Maye to Washington at No. 2. That’d open the door for the Pats to snag Daniels, although the Maye-Daniels debate is getting tighter as the pre-draft process plays out.

Merril Hoge has not minced words in saying that Maye ain’t it.

Whether it’s Maye or Daniels, though, New England has an interesting plan to support its fresh face of the franchise, per the report:

“According to a source, the Patriots plan on signing a veteran free agent quarterback, too. The team is in no rush to start a rookie immediately and could play that veteran if they think it would benefit the younger quarterback to sit for a season.

For the Patriots, several dominos must fall before they know who their starting quarterback will be. If the team selects Daniels or Maye and deems them ready, the rookie would start. But this is a process that this new Patriots brass isn’t going to rush.”

OK so among the quarterbacks hitting free agency, the best options for what the Patriots are looking for are, in my opinion, in this order: Ryan Tannehill, Drew Lock, and Sam Darnold. I’d think Tannehill would embrace one last chance to start after being benched for Will Levis in Tennessee. It’s a bridge QB gig, but it’s better than a backup gig for Tannehill at this point.

As for Lock, he’d take any shot to compete that he could. Geno Smith is the clear starter in Seattle. Lock has real arm talent and underrated mobility. A fun wild card to add to the mix. Finally, Darnold could have the chance to return to the AFC East and stick it to the Jets, the team who drafted/largely failed him.

Robert Griffin III came up with a couple other exotic alternatives in Russell Wilson and Joe Flacco.

Hard pass on Russ, who thinks he can win two of the next five Super Bowls. Even someone as naively optimistic as him should recognize he can’t do that in New England. Thus, he ought to have no interest in going there. Regarding Flacco: I guess? Electric as he was for the Browns, he did throw a lot of interceptions, including two awful pick-sixes in the playoffs.

Not that I would want this to happen as a Bengals fan, but if I were Mayo and the Patriots’ front office, I’d be on the horn to Cincinnati and ask what it’d take to get Jake Browning to Foxborough. Browning received an exclusive rights free agent tender recently. Browning’s cap hit stands to be $915,000 for 2024. It’d be shocking if New England didn’t at least kick the tires on Browning given that he led the Bengals to a 4-3 record last season in place of Joe Burrow.

Bringing aboard a veteran bridge guy would make me more comfortable pulling the trigger on Maye at No. 3 if I were the Pats.

The MassLive report also indicates that the Patriots intend to trade Mac Jones. Given that Jones led New England to the playoffs as a rookie, I’d give up a seventh-rounder for him if I were the Vikings or Rams. They both have great-but-aging QBs in Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford. Captain Kirk is coming off a torn Achilles and may price himself out of Minnesota; Stafford has an extensive injury history and turned 36 earlier this month. Jones represents cheap insurance for both of those teams.

Plus, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell played musical chairs at QB when Cousins went down this past season and still nearly led Minnesota back to the postseason. LA doesn’t have a clear-cut Stafford succession plan, and Jones would likely embrace a Baker Mayfield-esque path to revitalizing his career under Sean McVay.

This credible, well-sourced report is refreshing to hear. Not only because it proves me right from before. It’s more to do with the Patriots and their fans. I’m sure they were ready for the Patriots to Patriot all over themselves and either trade back from No. 3 to amass more draft picks, or take Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt. Nothing wrong with either of those choices necessarily. They just be signaling to their fans that they’re raising the white flag on the 2024 season.

Instead, it really sounds like these new-look Patriots are indeed getting a serious makeover. About to undergo a serious paradigm shift. Ready to move the needle after some bleak recent years. As TB12 would say, let’s ****** go.

An AFC East division featuring Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Aaron Rodgers and Jayden Daniels as starting quarterbacks would be a hell of a lot of fun, that’s for sure.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock