The Patriots must get the 2024 NFL Draft right, and that might mean a quarterback isn’t the correct decision with the third overall pick.

New England fans are divided over what the franchise should do with its highest pick in three decades. Head coach Jerod Mayo and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf are keeping their options open, and there’s been a whirlwind of rumors regarding what the Washington Commanders will do with the second overall pick and which teams are willing to trade up for one of the top signal-callers.

The way we see it, quarterback should be the priority. It’s the most important in the NFL, and the Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers showed that once you get that position right, everything else can fall into place. There are only two reasons why a QB shouldn’t be the decision with the No. 3 pick.

Round out the roster
Mayo acknowledged this offseason that free agency didn’t exactly go well for New England. It notably missed out on Calvin Ridley, and there were other viable players to target that the Patriots didn’t bite on. Were players like Ridley overpaid? Sure, but there’s little reason to believe heading into the 2024 NFL Draft that the Patriots are in any way better than last season’s team.

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New England seems to be hinging its hopes on hitting a home run with every pick in this year’s draft. A better way to achieve a stronger success rate could be to gather more assets to really build a cohesive roster.

It could take more than three first-round picks to trade out of the third overall pick, and if a team does offer you that, it’d be really hard to say no. If there’s even a doubt whether or not Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy can succeed at the next level, you take the massive haul of picks.

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How good are these guys really?
Speaking of the possibility of doubt on the top quarterback prospects, fans will be bombarded with takes on how well Daniels, Maye and McCarthy can play at the NFL level. Everyone is watching the same film and coming away with different takeaways. Daniels flashed elite speed and arm talent at LSU, but is he too small to handle the physicality of the NFL? Maye was a playmaker and might have the best arm of the class, but is he too inconsistent? McCarthy was a winner at Michigan and scouts love his toughness, but how much of that carries over to the NFL?

If you take a look back at the quarterback draft classes in the last 10 years, it’s very rare to find that every signal-caller selected in the first round is labeled as a success. What if New England gets the odd man out after Caleb Williams and whoever is the No. 2 pick?

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As mentioned, this roster has a lot of holes that need to be filled. The Patriots could address another position of need at No. 3 or trade down to better fill out a roster that can support a young quarterback. It’s possible Daniels, Maye or McCarthy might not be that good, and the Patriots could be better served taking a QB on Day 2 of Day 3 of the NFL draft. Spencer Rattler is an intriguing prospect New England could take a chance on. Joe Milton III also could be a high-upside player who can be a steal in the later rounds.

Next year’s class isn’t projected to be that great, but things always can change, and there might be a prospect that shines through, which would make those extra first-round picks very valuable. The Patriots still would be taking a quarterback, be there would be less pressure on a second- or third-round pick compared to someone picked third overall.

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