Jerod Mayo and the Patriots have a clear point of emphasis heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.

New England needs a quarterback, and the franchise is set up to land a potentially great one with its highest draft pick in over three decades. Mayo isn’t going to pretend like the stars aren’t aligning for the Patriots to target their next franchise signal-caller at No. 3, but New England’s plans aren’t set in stone.

“It’s the priority right now,” Mayo told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche on Sunday about the Patriots’ quarterback interests. “But with that being said, you have to really be in love with the guy to take him at No. 3. So really all the options are still open for us.”

Mayo’s note about loving the player is important, as the Patriots reportedly do not love North Carolina product Drake Maye. And if Jayden Daniels, the reported “leader in the clubhouse” to be drafted second overall, is taken by the Washington Commanders, it could put New England in a tough spot.

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Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Mayo told Wyche the Patriots are not “dead set” on taking a quarterback at No. 3. In addition to understanding how the chips might fall to open the draft, Mayo might be expecting New England to field significant trade offers for the three pick.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images