The Patriots will have their choice of quarterback after the Washington Commanders are expected to take theirs, and analysts are split on what New England will do.

Head coach Jerod Mayo and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf are keeping their options open and have talked up the top prospects in the class. Mayo even gave a glowing review of Drake Maye, who the Patriots reportedly “don’t love.” Wolf reportedly was “pushing hard” for J.J. McCarthy, and given the majority of mock drafts have Washington selecting Jayden Daniels, the No. 3 pick seems to be down to Maye and McCarthy.

Multiple analysts highlighted Maye’s flaws throughout the process, but he’s always been projected as a top-three quarterback in the class. McCarthy’s rise gave some fans pause on why the Michigan product should be on New England’s radar, especially with the third overall pick.

ESPN this week released its “Draft Day Predictor” where it rated how likely each prospect would land at each team in the top 10. McCarthy had an 11.8% chance of being the No. 3 pick, and he was given an A when it came to scheme fit. However, there was one cause of concern if the 21-year-old landed in New England.

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“The Pats’ scheme is expected to have similarities to what the (Cleveland) Browns run, and that means a heavy dose of play-action,” Jordan Reid wrote. “McCarthy had a stellar 76.3% completion rate on play-action last season. The one thing holding this pairing back would be the rest of the offense. McCarthy is 21 years old and ran a run-heavy offense at Michigan, so he needs better playmakers to ease his transition to the pro game.”

The concern Reid raised is why a contingent of fans want New England to trade down, so it can accumulate more assets to better address the needs of the roster. But it does appear Wolf and the Patriots front office will address those needs in the 2024 NFL Draft given the lack of splash moves in free agency.

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Washington controls what the Patriots will do with the No. 3 pick, and the decision on who to take could elevate or set the franchise back depending on how the rest of the draft plays out.

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