New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: New Patriots first-round pick predictions

The Patriots are in a strong position to land a top-three pick.

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Thanks to the Chicago Bears' ugly win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, the New England Patriots now have a very strong chance of securing at least the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Bears' victory means the only teams with fewer than four wins are the Patriots (2-9), the Arizona Cardinals (2-10) and Carolina Panthers (1-10). So the Patriots could still win one more game and not move out of the top three. And if you look at New England's remaining schedule, it's hard to find more than one win.

If the Patriots finish with a top-three pick -- which they haven't had since 1994 -- it would guarantee them a chance to select one of the top two quarterback prospects -- USC's Caleb Williams or UNC's Drake Maye -- or an elite wide receiver prospect in Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. Offensive tackle is another huge need for the Patriots, and Penn State star Olumuyiwa Fashanu projects to be a franchise left tackle for a long time.

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One player who has seen his stock drop a bit in recent weeks is Williams. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner was the No. 1 pick in most mock drafts for much of the season, but he's dropped to No. 3 in several of these mock drafts lately.

USC didn't have a great season. There's no other way to describe it. The Trojans were expected to be in the mix for the Pac-12 title but instead lost five of their last six games to finish 7-5. Williams didn't play as well as he did last season, but his stats were still fantastic.

He completed a career-high 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,633 yards with 30 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also can make plays with his legs, evidenced by his 136 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He has the physical tools scouts love. And in fairness, most of USC's struggles this season came on defense. The Trojans defense was flat-out atrocious, ranking 123rd among FBS teams in points allowed per game. USC lost five times despite scoring an average of 28.2 points in those games.

If Williams fell to No. 3, which is the most likely slot for the Patriots right now, that would be tremendous value for New England. He is a phenomenal talent, and his stock has dropped too far over the last couple weeks.

Which players might the Patriots pursue with their first-round pick? Here's a roundup of predictions from recent expert mock drafts.

ESPN: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Pro Football Focus: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Jason McIntyre, FOX Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Nate Tice, Yahoo! Sports: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Connor Livesay, The 33rd Team: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Brad Crawford, 247 Sports: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Ian Valentino, Pro Football Network: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Walter Football: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Tankathon: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

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