New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: J.J. McCarthy to Patriots picking up steam?

McCarthy's draft stock has risen quite a bit in recent weeks.

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For the last several months, there have been three Tier 1 quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft class: USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels. A fourth player now appears to be on the verge of joining that group.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who impressed teams at the NFL Scouting Combine last month and his Pro Day last week, has been steadily rising up mock drafts in recent weeks. He's a top 10 pick in the large majority of mock drafts right now, and he's even been taken as high as No. 3 in some of them.

The owners of the No. 3 pick are the New England Patriots, who very much need a franchise quarterback. McCarthy went 27-1 with a 68.3 completion percentage, 5680 yards, 44 touchdowns and nine interceptions over the last two seasons as the Wolverines' starting QB. He helped lead Michigan to a national title in 2023 -- the program's first since 1997.

McCathy has done well in interviews with teams. Coaches value his leadership skills and intangibles. Those traits are important at quarterback. He also has good size at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds, along with a strong arm. The unknown with McCarthy is, can he be the focal point of a winning offense? Michigan was a run-heavy team last season. But to McCarthy's credit, when he needed to make winning plays, he often delivered.

If the first three picks in Round 1 are Williams, Daniels and Maye in some order, it'll be fascinating to see how many teams try to move up to get McCarthy. The Vikings and Broncos could be among the teams willing to pay the price to move into the top 10, and both of them are without a good long-term option at quarterback.

Which players should the Patriots consider drafting at No. 3? Here are the latest projections from recent 2024 NFL mock drafts.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington at No. 11; Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas at No. 23 (mock trade: Vikings send Nos. 11 and 23, along with a 2025 first-rounder, to Patriots for No. 3)

Matt Miller, ESPN: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State at No. 11 (mock trade: Vikings send Nos. 11 and 23, along with a 2025 first-rounder, to Patriots for No. 3)

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Bucky Brooks, NFL Network: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Ben Standig, The Athletic: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Joseph Acosta, SB Nation: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Highlights of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy
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