ESPN believes the Patriots will have a new face behind center when they open their 2024 season.

This isn’t a bold prediction, as neither Mac Jones nor Bailey Zappe performed well enough last season to garner starter consideration in the next campaign. But the real mystery is how New England will fill the void atop its quarterback depth chart. Jerod Mayo and company could bring in a new veteran, or they could try to find their next franchise signal-caller in the draft.

ESPN’s Seth Walder anticipates the latter, as the analytics expert believes Jayden Daniels will be the Patriots’ starting QB come fall.

“Maybe the Patriots will trade down or become tantalized by Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and take him with the No. 3 pick,” Walder wrote in a column published Tuesday. “But this is a team that needs a quarterback after suffering with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe last season and is in range to get a high-end rookie without trading up. That’s usually too good a position for teams to pass up, and LSU’s Daniels fits here.”

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Selecting a signal-caller reportedly is the “most likely” route New England will take with its highest draft pick in decades. Furthermore, longtime team president Jonathan Kraft reportedly prefers the Patriots to grab a QB at that spot rather than address another position or trade down.

Of course, a lot can change between late February and late April. So Patriots fans should brace themselves for a variety of outcomes once Draft Day rolls around.

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