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2024 NFL Mock Draft: New England Patriots pick their new quarterback

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2024 NFL Mock Draft: New England Patriots pick their new quarterback


Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

When you’ve earned the third pick in the NFL Draft, something hasn’t been going according to plan. That high of a selection can only be earned only the most dysfunctional, unlucky, and/or incompetent organizations.

For those sorry franchises whose failures are tied to poor QB performances, the decision of who to draft with such a coveted spot raises the stakes even more….

… and then there are the Patriots. Believe it or not, the importance of their pick this year goes far beyond that.

Because while other franchises might have their medium-term future as defined in wins and losses on the line, for the Patriots, it’s about being removed from the very consciousness of their fanbase.

Let me explain.

Over the past 2 years, I have come to encounter the recurrence of a rare disease in New England that has attacked the brains of so many otherwise healthy adults and children. It is known as Patsamnesoglect (PAG), a condition marked by the combination of amnesia (loss of memory) and sensory neglect (unable to see or hear something right in front of you). [1]

A typical sufferer from PAG can easily be identified; while they used to be able to name each Pats players’ favorite movie while gathering around the fire to debate Bill Simmons’ “Top 20 Comeback Wins of the Brady Era.” Once stricken by PAG, the very name “New England Patriots” brings up quizzical looks while the mention of Jerod Mayo may elicit a “ooh, was that one of Jayson Tatum’s teammates at Duke?….by the way, do you know that Tatum is only 25 years old?”

Another key symptom of PAG suffers relates to losing the ability to recognize logos and color-schemes. The once super-human power of Bostonians to spot others adorned in the Red, White, and Blue pats logo from miles away under PAG becomes atrophied to the point that they are completely colorblind to those colors, retaining only the ability to discern (Celtic) Green and occasionally (Bruin) Black/Yellow.

Attempts to treat this condition through normal fan-based interventions like the start of a new season, promising “improvement” from young players or even growing win totals have been shown to be completely ineffective. Even attempts to rekindle the memory of past glories by making entire home games revolve around the past and not the present have little to no effect.

In recent years researchers have discovered the root cause of PAG: a combination of mediocre fan interest prior to 2001 that, after 20 years of unholy unprecedented success became a wholly unrealistic set of fan expectations so lofty only a steady diet of deep playoff runs (if not super bowl appearances) will make their fanbase notice them. As such, the Patriots need not only to win with this draft pick, but win at a Patrick Mahomes-kind of level to avoid them fading out of memory like Marty McFly almost did in Back to the Future, or (even worse) being confused with the New England Revolution.

What’s that, you say?

Oh right, the pick.

I know this is about who I would pick but if I’m imagining myself in their GM’s shoes I’d focus most on not losing my job, meaning that my incentives may very well dictate I do something that is different from what might be in the best long-term interest of the franchise.

Since Caleb Williams is off the board and Marvin Harrison Jr., in a surprise move, went second to Washington [2], the question is whether I get my QB of the future, a non-QB, or trade down.

The short answer is that I’d pick Drake Maye.

A longer explanation, written before I knew who the Commanders picked, and based on what I can glean from the few lifer Pats fans I know who are still paying attention, is based upon New two basic questions New England has to answer.

A) Do they have the cojones to not draft a QB at #3 (trade down, draft MH jr., whatever) if they aren’t clearly in love with one of their QB options?

The first thing I would note is that when it came to QBs, for many years there was a negative “Brady effect” when it came to finding backups/replacements for what most neutrals would consider the G.O.A.T. There was a large contingent of folks who thought that due to Belichick’s coaching and the “Patriot Way” [3] it was unnecessary to spend high draft picks on QBs because of the superiority of their overall system. After the last few debacles seasons, I think it’s safe to say that that ship has sailed. While Mac Jones was a first round QB, he was not highly ranked like those other QBs taken with a top-5 pick which is what we are talking about here- a chance to draft a Top QB felt to be worthy of a top pick.

With this as backdrop, there appear to be a number of signals that QB is a (the?) real option for them this year. Robert Kraft has been reportedly fond of Drake Maye and in interviews specifically noted the team would have enough talent coaching in place for a rookie QB to be successful if they drafted one at #3. So while Eliot Wolf is somewhat of a blank slate (Belichick up until now had final say on draft day before Wolf became their de facto GM this year), given RK’s comments along with the sense among draft experts that 2025 isn’t looking to be a great QB class, I could only see that scenario happening if both Maye AND Daniels (and McCarthy, Penix, etc.) are scored much lower than pretty much all the draft analysts do.

Since I doubt the Pats are that low on all the QB options, and due to the rookie status of Wolf as the final decider on draft day, I don’t see the FO up here trying to get cute and trade back while also drafting a QB. I doubt even Howie Roseman would attempt that kind of a dice roll to get more capital while risking losing out on his QB choice. [4]

B) Which QB would they pick?

Given the growing certainty in NFL draft circles that the Bears are taking Williams at #1, the question then is who amongst Maye, Daniels, or some other QB at #3 would be their preferred option. While it’s possible that there has been more smoke about Maye to the Pats because people are assuming Daniels is going #2, I also think that there are other reasons why, when given the opportunity to choose, would still go with Maye.

While new OC Alex Van Pelt has worked with highly mobile QB’s like DeShaun Watson in Cleveland, most of his work has been with players like Aaron Rodgers, pocket passers who are athletic enough to move around and even run when need be, but otherwise work within the offensive scheme.

Also, Maye has been more consistent over his time at UNC while Daniels’ stock rose astronomically over the course of one cfb season with an insane LSU receiving corps. While that exact combination was what Joe Burrow had before he entered the league, in generally consistency is a plus.

Finally, the vibe I about the Pats being a “pocket passer” team are similar to that of the Eagles being known as an “in the trenches” squad. While it’s true that perceived identity mostly comes from a single QB (although if you count Bledsoe that history goes back almost 30 years), I still get the sense that it’s still a thing.

In the end, while in a vacuum I might pick Daniels for his upside and tool-set, I think the Pats would lean towards drafting (yet another) “Tom Brady 2.0” whose game is most reminiscent of Brady’s, especially if the owner is putting his own finger on the scale.

Will it be enough to make New Englanders interested in the Pats again? That remains to be seen.

ANNOTATIONS

[1] This can be distinguished from OCE, a condition endemic to the Delaware Valley, of which the hallmarks are persistent obsessions about the Eagles and seasonal compulsions to yell at TV screens.

[2] Which will have Commanders fans pondering the philosophical question that if a receiver is open in the middle ofa field but no one who can throw him the ball, is he really open?

[3] My eyes are rolling as I type this.

[4] We Eagles fans all remember the Marcus Smith draft fiasco in 2014.

Poll

Do you approve of this pick?

2024 BGN Mock Draft Order

1) Bears (Draftjunky): Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2) Commanders (surefooted): Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
3) Patriots (niels.rosenquist): Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
4) Cardinals (eaglenomics)
5) Chargers (SeanEFootball)
6) Giants (89Tremaine)
7) Titans (Philly21)
8) Falcons (BrianLee0480)
9) Bears (EaglesDiver)
10) Jets (GreenGrampa)
11) Vikings (The Player Formerly Known as Mousecop)
12) Broncos (PBARB1978)
13) Raiders (iam4theBirdz)
14) Saints (Fly Like An Eagle)
15) Colts (J. Wil)
16) Seahawks (Phreezy E)
17) Jaguars (dredscottroberts)
18) Bengals (grantspectations)
19) Rams (Nolo0oo)
20) Steelers (Dr.MidnightGreen)
21) Dolphins (Neil Dutton)
22) Eagles (ablesser88)
23) Vikings (RabidPanda13)
24) Cowboys (Elliptical Man)
25) Packers (LeFire)
26) Buccaneers (FlJoe)
27) Cardinals (green1us)
28) Bills (Leo Bedio)
29) Lions (MrOilman)
30) Ravens (LancGuy)
31) 49ers (SakPrescott)
32) Chiefs (Hoosinole)


Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think should be selected in the 2024 BGN Community Consensus Mock Draft.

Poll

Who should the Patriots draft at No. 3 overall?

  • 12%

    QB J.J. McCarthy

    (10 votes)

  • 5%

    QB Michael Penix

    (4 votes)

  • 8%

    WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

    (7 votes)



78 votes total

Vote Now

1) Bears: QB Caleb Williams
2) Commanders: QB Jayden Daniels
3) Patriots:



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