The Patriots are in line to select one of the three consensus top quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

However, New England might not be eager to call in the name of the signal-caller who lands in its lap.

Caleb Williams is a virtual lock to go No. 1 to the Chicago Bears, which leaves New England poised to select Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye at No. 3. The latter might be more likely, as last season’s Heisman Trophy winner recently became the betting favorite to be picked second overall by the Washington Commanders.

Maye has the talent level and makeup that fit the mold of a first-round QB. But the Patriots might not be as high on the North Carolina product as other draft evaluators.

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“We’re hearing all this chatter about how the Patriots don’t love Drake Maye. About how he missed receivers and wasn’t accurate in a handful of games,” Mel Kiper Jr. said on ESPN’s “First Draft” show, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated. “They need a quarterback desperately. But so does Minnesota.”

Perhaps New England’s reported feelings about Maye are why Kiper is losing confidence in the projection of the Patriots taking a quarterback at No. 3. Yes, New England really needs a QB, but it shouldn’t force the issue if the chips fall unfavorably. Taking advantage of another desperate team on Draft Day wouldn’t be the worst move for the Patriots, whose issues extend well beyond behind center.

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That said, New England reportedly has not “shown an appetite” for trading the No. 3 pick. So, we could see the franchise roll the dice on April 25.

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