The Patriots enter the 2024 offseason with massive, glaring needs at three key offensive positions: quarterback, wide receiver and offensive tackles.

Fortunately for them, the 2024 NFL Draft is stocked with high-end talent at all three spots.

As the pre-draft process begins in earnest, most analysts expect the top five or six picks all to be QBs, wideouts and tackles. New England sits at the center of that cluster, owning the No. 3 overall pick after a 4-13 finish this season.

That pick gives the Patriots a great deal of flexibility. They could trade up to No. 1 — where USC quarterback Caleb Williams is projected to go — without selling the farm. They could trade down, beef up their stash of draft capital and still land a quality player. Or they could stay put and have their choice of any player who doesn’t go 1-2.

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If the Patriots do stick and pick at No. 3 — the franchise’s highest selection since Drew Bledsoe went first overall in 1993 — which player should they target? With the caveat that evaluations of prospects can and will change over the next 3 1/2 months, and that it’s difficult to predict what New England will look for when we don’t know whether Bill Belichick or someone else will be making the pick, here are four potential options:

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QB Drake Maye, North Carolina
Maye has been widely considered the No. 2 quarterback in this class, behind only Williams, for months. So, there’s a good chance he won’t still be on the board at No. 3, especially with the No. 2 Washington Commanders needing an upgrade at the position.

But if one of the teams above them prefers a certain Ohio State wide receiver (more on him below), the Patriots could luck out and land Maye, whose arm, athleticism, smarts and size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) have earned him comparisons to Justin Herbert.

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QB Jayden Daniels, LSU
By far the biggest draft riser of this college football season, Daniels ascended from a likely Day 3 prospect to a possible top-five pick over his superb senior season at LSU. The Heisman Trophy winner completed 72.2% of his passes, averaged 11.7 yards per attempt, threw 40 touchdowns with just four interceptions and added 1,134 rushing yards and 10 scores. He also was a five-year collegiate starter, checking the experience box many teams look for.

Daniels will need to add some bulk and do a better job of protecting himself at the next level, but he’d give the Patriots a fascinating dual-threat QB to build around.

WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
The Patriots need a new franchise QB, yes. But it’s also hard to see any rookie signal-caller succeeding with the meager collection of pass-catchers New England boasted this season. That’s the argument for taking Harrison, who’s viewed as the best wideout prospect to enter the NFL in years — and likely will be the highest-drafted one since Calvin Johnson went second overall in 2007.

Harrison scored 14 touchdowns and topped 1,200 yards in each of the last two seasons (2,474 yards, 28 TDs total). New England could choose this path and then look to nab a second-tier quarterback like Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy or Oregon’s Bo Nix later in the first round or early on Day 2.

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OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame
Same idea here: What good is having a new franchise QB if you can’t keep him upright? The offensive tackle position was a major Patriots weakness in each of the last two seasons, and they’re staring at the possibility of losing both of their 2023 starters as Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu prepare to hit free agency. Alt is a 6-foot-8, 322-pound former tight end who allowed just two sacks over his two seasons as the Fighting Irish’s starting left tackle.

Evaluators are split over whether the best tackle in this class is Alt or Penn State’s Olu Fashanu, who’s also a projected top-10 pick and would be another option for New England. But No. 3 seems too high for either player. If the Patriots want to address their hole at tackle at the top of the draft and then take a QB later, they’d be better off trading down a few spots and accumulating more picks.

Featured image via Stephen Lew/USA TODAY Sports Images