New England Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Latest Patriots predictions one week out

The Patriots have just one more week to decide how they will approach Round 1.

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The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is just eight days away. It's time for teams to start making their final pre-draft rankings and begin deciding which players (and potential trades) make the most sense for them.

The New England Patriots are among the most fascinating teams in this draft. They own the No. 3 pick -- their highest first-rounder since 1993 -- and badly need a quarterback. There's been a lot of J.J. McCarthy hype recently, and some experts (see mock results below) still project the Michigan quarterback to land with New England in Round 1.

🔊 Patriots Talk Podcast: Michigan HC Sherrone Moore scoffs at J.J. McCarthy doubters | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

But the easiest -- and potentially smartest -- decision the Patriots can make is to draft LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Maye, whichever quarterback doesn't get picked by the Washington Commanders at No. 2.

That's how NFL Network's Peter Schrager sees the choice for the Patriots. He published his first 2024 NFL mock draft on Tuesday. Here's his analysis of the Patriots' pick (Maye):

"Despite lots of smoke that New England could trade down, I believe this new Patriots regime will be comfortable with either Jayden Daniels or Maye," Schrager wrote.

"Pats brass took Maye out for steaks the night before his Foxborough visit earlier this month, and those guys loved the Charlotte native. That said, they also loved their top-30 visit with Daniels. I think they're fine with whichever one falls to them. New England also wined and dined QB J.J. McCarthy on Monday night, but I still see this selection being Daniels or Maye."

Franchise quarterbacks are typically found in the first round. The Patriots haven't had many top 10 picks in the last 30 years, and they are fortunate enough to have one of those selections in a year when the quarterback class is viewed as quite strong.

This opportunity is too good for the Patriots to pass up. Sure, this roster also has other glaring weaknesses that need upgrading, such as wide receiver and offensive tackle. But this draft class is pretty deep at those two positions, so the Patriots could take Maye or Daniels at No. 3 and still get a good wide receiver and tackle on Day 2 of the draft.

Here's a roundup of expert predictions for the Patriots from recent mock drafts.

Peter Schrager, NFL Network: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

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

Doug Kyed, Boston Herald: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

NFC South area scout, ESPN: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Marcus Mosher, The 33rd Team: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State at No. 11; Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU at No. 23 (mock trade where Patriots send No. 3 to Vikings for Nos. 11 and 23, plus a 2025 first-rounder)

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Tankathon: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

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