New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Fresh Patriots predictions before Super Bowl

Is Jayden Daniels the slam-dunk pick for the Pats?

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The New England Patriots have a massive opportunity to turbocharge their rebuild if they hit a home run with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, especially if they select a quarterback.

Most experts believe the Patriots will land LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels in Round 1. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner completed 72.2 percent of his pass attempts for 3,812 yards with 40 touchdowns and four interceptions at LSU in 2023. He also tallied 1,134 yards (8.4 per carry) and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

But why exactly is Daniels a good fit for what the Patriots are trying to build?

Our insider Phil Perry touched on that subject in his first 2024 NFL mock draft published last week.

🔊 Next Pats: Why Jayden Daniels should be the third QB taken in the 2024 NFL Draft Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"He's smart, if you use how he takes care of the football as a gauge; his career turnover-worthy-play percentage is 1.6, according to A to Z Sports, which is best in this draft class," Perry wrote. "He's tough, running for better yards-per-scramble (12.8) and yards-per-designed-run (9.1) averages than Lamar Jackson in Jackson's 2016 Heisman Trophy season, per ESPN. And despite taking some vicious shots over the course of his career, Daniels is dependable, playing in at least 12 games in four of his five college seasons. (He played a COVID-shortened four-game schedule in 2020.)

"Add those characteristics to what he's shown as a down-the-field dart-thrower -- he hit over 60 percent of his passes that traveled 20 yards or more beyond the line of scrimmage this season -- and you have a player who satisfies what the Patriots have long wanted at the quarterback position, while also bringing some explosive running ability to take New England's offense into the modern age."

Daniels' low turnovers would be a huge upgrade for the Patriots when you consider how careless their quarterbacks were in 2023 in regards to ball security. Patriots quarterbacks threw 21 interceptions this past season, and only the Cleveland Browns (23) had more. Mac Jones, who started the first 11 games, threw 12 interceptions and lost three fumbles. Consistently turning the ball over put the Patriots in a tough spot. They were trailing early in most of their games, and that was a recipe for disaster given their lack of firepower at the skill positions.

Selecting a QB such as Daniels would go a long way in fixing the Patriots offense. But he can't do it alone. The Patriots need to surround him with a better offensive line and more high-end talent at wide receiver. They can address one of those needs in Round 2 at pick 34 overall.

Which players might the Patriots target with the No. 3 pick? Here's a roundup of predictions from recent expert mock drafts.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

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

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Connor Livesay, The 33rd Team: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Luke Easterling, Sports Illustrated: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Curt Popejoy, Draftwire: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Justin Melo, Draft Network: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Walter Football: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Tankathon: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

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