If the Patriots hold onto the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, they’ll end up selecting from a pool of players scheduled to participate in what essentially amounts to a job fair this week in Indianapolis.

It’s time for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine!

New England has some important business to handle this week, as it hosts an otherworldly number of meetings with prospects throughout the week. It’s already starting to become clear which prospects have met with the Patriots, but we don’t have eyes or ears in those conversations. We can, however, get eyes and ears on the workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

There’s a list of 321 prospects that have been invited to the event, and the majority will participate in on-field drills and tests. They’ll all have an opportunity to make a statement in front of Patriots brass, and these are the guys we think can do it.

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QB J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
QB Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
QB Bo Nix (Oregon)

This might not be the trio of QBs you expected to see, but they’re the top options who will actually sling the rock around in Indy. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels decided against participating in on-field drills, so the best we’ll get is McCarthy, Penix and Nix — a.k.a. the second tier.

It will be interesting to see if one of these guys can elevate themselves to the undoubted QB4 of this class. McCarthy seems like the most likely candidate, especially once we see him test. If the Patriots are interested in trading back, could he be an option?

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WR Jermaine Burton (Alabama)
Burton’s biggest test this week will come in interviews, as he’s got a bit of an attitude problem that has shown up on the field. If you’re looking for an example of what he can do on it, you’ll get one Saturday.

WR Roman Wilson (Michigan)
Wilson’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest guy in this class of wide receivers, but his fluidity jumps off the page. There will be a few teams who fall in love watching him in one-on-one drills, and New England just might be one of them.

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OL Amarius Mims (Georgia)
Mims, on the other hand, is among the biggest, strongest and fastest guys at his position. He’s one of the best pound-for-pound athletes in the entire draft, and the way he tests could catapult him above a number of tackles who are in contention to be selected in the middle of the first round.

RB Dylan Laube (New Hampshire
WR Jalen Coker (Holy Cross)
WR C.J. Hanson (Holy Cross)
OT Kiran Amegadjie (Yale)

The combine will have a local flair this season, with three schools that don’t usually have representation sending prospects to Indy. Coker and Hanson spoke with NESN about the opportunity in front of them, and they could cement themselves as potential selections with solid weeks. Laube and Amegadjie? It’s just a matter of when they get picked.

LB Payton Wilson (NC State)
The Patriots have a sneaky need at linebacker, as a number of their current options for next season have proven to be limited horizontally. What does that mean, you ask? They aren’t the best athletes.

Wilson is the best one, at least on film. If he can prove as much during tests this week, he could elevate himself into the second round.

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TE Ja’Tavion Sanders (Texas)
New England isn’t going to get its hands on Brock Bowers, but its need at tight end is so strong a transition into finding the second-best available tight end in the class might be necessary. Sanders is that guy to many people, and this will be the first real look for NFL franchises to see how special he is athletically.

WR Xavier Legette (South Carolina)
WR Keon Coleman (Florida State)
It isn’t nice to call people “freaks” but these dudes are freaks. Legette is built like a linebacker, and Coleman just might break one of the jumping records. It doesn’t look like the latter will fall into a range for the Patriots to select him, but the former very well could. It doesn’t matter, though: We just think they’re cool.

QB Spencer Rattler (South Carolina)
Rattler’s been profiled in our other preview stuff, but he really feels like an option for New England. They’ve met, and he fits the profile of recent Patriots selections.

Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images