The New England Patriots have options with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, regardless of what the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders do with the No. 1 and No. 2 selections, respectively.

They could select one of the top quarterbacks available, as Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy all look poised to be chosen early in Round 1. Or they could trade the pick, with an eye toward accumulating additional assets that’ll help facilitate their rebuild.

ESPN NFL analyst Bill Barnwell on Monday offered his thoughts on what each team should do in the first round of the upcoming draft, taking into account post-free agency rosters, potential targets and other variables.

His suggestion for New England? Stay put.

Story continues below advertisement

Basically, the Patriots don’t know which quarterbacks will be available at No. 3, assuming Williams goes No. 1 and either Maye, Daniels or McCarthy goes No. 2. So, it’s hard to nail down New England’s thinking. What if, for instance, the front office isn’t aligned — with conviction — on one of the QBs?

Perhaps, then, the Patriots would consider a trade. Choosing the wrong signal-caller near the top of the draft can set back an organization for years. And there presumably will be teams looking to move up the board, with New England’s selection representing a possible inflection point.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“It’s entirely possible they could have a trade lined up with the Vikings or Raiders if New England scouting director Eliot Wolf’s quarterback of choice is off the board by the time the clock starts,” Barnwell wrote for

That said, passing on a quarterback is risky in and of itself. The Patriots would kick themselves if they traded back, only to see one of the remaining QBs blossom with another team.

Story continues below advertisement

“My colleague Matt Miller has made the argument the Patriots should wait on taking their quarterback because they don’t have the infrastructure to support that rookie, and I can certainly see his point given what the Pats have at left tackle and wide receiver,” Barnwell wrote. “Still, there is no guarantee they will be in position to take a quarterback again across the next few drafts. If the Pats like one of these passers and he is available at No. 3, they have to go for it.”

The Patriots are doing their homework on the top quarterbacks. They also publicly expressed a willingness to trade the No. 3 pick.

Whatever the case, New England’s looming decision will have long-term ramifications, for better or worse.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images