New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Patriots predictions with free agency underway

It still makes sense for the Pats to take a QB at No. 3.

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The New England Patriots' most glaring roster weakness entering NFL free agency was quarterback, and they made a great move to address that position by signing veteran Jacoby Brissett to a one-year deal worth $8 million.

Brissett is the perfect veteran to mentor a young quarterback, and he could also start a bunch of games himself while a rookie sits and learns the offense. He's also quite familiar with Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, who was the Browns OC in 2022 when Brissett started 16 games and played well.

The Brissett signing sets up the Patriots to use the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on a quarterback. Jayden Daniels, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from LSU, was the consensus Patriots pick for the last couple months. But his stock has risen so much to the point where a lot of experts are predicting he'll land at No. 2 with the Washington Commanders.

As a result, most mock drafts have North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye going to the Patriots at No. 3. Maye is a charismatic, tough player with a high football IQ and many of the physical tools that scouts covet, such as a rocket arm and a 6-foot-4, 230-pound frame.

Maye completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,608 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games for an average-at-best Tar Heels team last season. He's not as good running the football as Daniels, but he's still pretty athletic, evidenced by his 449 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.

The Patriots could always trade down and accumulate more draft picks. But if Maye is on the board at No. 3, they should give strong consideration to drafting him. He has a lot of the attributes you want in a franchise quarterback.

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Which players might the Patriots target in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft? Here are the latest projections from expert mock drafts.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame (Patriots trade No. 3 pick to Giants for No. 6 pick, No. 70 pick and Giants' 2025 first-round pick)

Field Yates, ESPN: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Carmen Vitali, FOX Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Diante Lee, The Athletic: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

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

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Luke Easterling, Sports Illustrated: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

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

Walter Football: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

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