Jayden Daniels referred to former Arizona State teammate Brandon Aiyuk as a “big brother” while speaking to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Now a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels is nearing the start of his professional football career. Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Aiyuk has been subject to trade rumors given he is entering a contract year after the San Francisco 49ers picked up his fifth-year option.

It’s created a fantasy scenario that Daniels and Aiyuk could land somewhere together in the near future. It surely would be welcomed by a team in need of both a franchise quarterback and star receiver.

… A team like the New England Patriots.

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Given the Patriots own the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, there’s a very real chance Daniels comes to New England. The Patriots have been tied to the Heisman Trophy winner in mock drafts throughout the offseason, and the consensus is that Daniels is among the top three quarterbacks along with Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. DraftKings Sportsbook has listed Daniels as the betting favorite to be the third overall pick.

New England also needs an influx of pass-catching talent. Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf recently said the goal is to “weaponize the offense.” And The Athletic reported last week the wide receiver position is New England’s top priority entering free agency.

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Aiyuk is not a free agent. He remains under contract for one more season. But if the 2020 first-rounder and the 49ers can’t agree to an extension in the near future, there’s a non-zero chance San Francisco tries to deal Aiyuk in order to get something in return. Draft experts have praised the receiver depth in 2024 so perhaps a deal is even made before then.

49ers general manager John Lynch told reports in Indianapolis the franchise would like to keep Aiyuk in the Bay Area. ESPN’s Dan Graziano, however, reported Sunday that Aiyuk will be a trade candidate should he and the organization not be able to come to terms.

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Aiyuk is coming off a 2023 season in which he set a career-high in yards (1,342) while adding 75 catches and seven touchdowns. It marked the second consecutive season Aiyuk exceeded the 1,000-yard threshold. He caught a career-best 78 balls and eight touchdowns during the 2022 season.

Aiyuk would be a perfect addition for the receiver-needy Patriots. And if New England was able to draft its quarterback of the future during the same offseason, Patriots fans surely would view it as a dream scenario.

Featured image via Sergio Estrada/USA TODAY Sports Images