NFL Hot Press: The Patriots’ View of the Quarterback Prospects

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The Chicago Bears are locked in on USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1-overall pick. After them, there has been some mystery on which quarterbacks are the preferred players for the Washington Commanders at No. 2 and the New England Patriots at No. 3. Some in the media have said the Commanders are high on either Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. Some sources believe Washington is more inclined to take LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. In speaking to sources with the Patriots, Daniels is the quarterback their organization wants the most.

While New England wants Daniels the most, the team is high on both McCarthy and Maye. The Patriots feel both are legit “top of the first round”-caliber prospects, but Daniels’ playmaking ability has a big appeal to the Patriots, so he is the one they covet the most. If Washington takes Daniels, it sounds like Maye could be the slight leader over McCarthy, but it’s very close. During the course of the meetings with the coaches over these final weeks leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, it’s very possible McCarthy overtakes Maye, but New England might stick with Maye over McCarthy through the time of making the pick. Sources said Maye did very well on his top-30 visit to New England last week, and McCarthy has interviewed well throughout the process also.

While the Patriots are doing their due diligence on all the quarterback prospects and listening to trade offers, it sounds like the strong inclination is to stick and pick at quarterback at No. 3. If the Patriots trade down, they can’t bank on being in position to land a different quarterback they might consider later, like say Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. Another team could jump in front of the Patriots for Penix, and they can’t bank on there being a quarterback they want next year as well as being in the right position to draft him.

Thus, it sounds more likely that New England will take its next franchise quarterback at No. 3 overall during the 2024 NFL Draft. Right now, it sounds like Daniels is the team’s preferred choice, followed by Maye and McCarthy in a neck-and-neck race. Here is the direction I have them going in my latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft. However, a lot could change in the next two weeks that might switch the order of New England’s quarterback preferences. The coaches’ meetings and ownership weighing in on the choice could swing the decision. And perhaps Washington will go with Maye or McCarthy and let Daniels fall into the lap of the Patriots.