Quarterback undeniably is the Patriots’ top offseason need, but wide receiver is a close second.

New England can fill one of those holes with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, if quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Drake Maye already are off the board, how will it use the pick?

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Nick Baumgardner, an NFL draft expert for The Athletic, believes it would be too soon to select LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. Instead, he believes the Patriots use the pick to draft Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

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Here’s the full excerpt from his mock draft published Wednesday:

A couple of things here: 1) Harrison is the best player in this draft, and people shouldn’t complicate that. He is a game-changing asset who can make a non-star quarterback (and a middling offense) better, immediately. And 2) This, at least for me, is still too early to take LSU QB Jayden Daniels — though I’m not about to rule out the Heisman winner here, with or without Bill Belichick’s return.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Baumgardner had Williams and Maye going first and second overall, respectively. He projected Maye to go to the Washington Redskins and Williams to go to the Atlanta Falcons, who would acquire the first pick in a trade with the Chicago Bears.

Chicago’s compensation: eighth and 43rd overall picks in 2024, plus a future first- and second-round pick.

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Whether that would be enough to land the first pick is up for debate. However, you could make a strong case the Patriots are more well-positioned than anyone to swing a deal with the Bears. If Chicago is committed to quarterback Justin Fields, it might prefer to move no lower than third overall, where it could draft Harrison.

Being in control of the third overall pick effectively puts the Patriots in control of Harrison, which is no small thing. It’s reasonable to assume they wouldn’t need to offer nearly as much as other teams to move up to first overall.

But would the Patriots rather go all-in for Williams or Maye, or trade back and select a second-tier quarterback such as Daniels or Michael Penix Jr.? That’s the top question that needs answering ahead of the draft.

You can click here for our breakdown of how the Patriots could use the No. 3 pick.

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Featured image via Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK