Next Pats Podcast

Orlovsky: Pats should target this CJ Stroud-like QB in draft

"When I watched the games, the overwhelming thought was pure as a passer from the pocket."

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The New England Patriots will have a chance to draft their next franchise quarterback in April. The question is, which QB should they hope falls in their lap at the No. 3 overall pick?

USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye, and LSU's Jayden Daniels are the consensus top three QBs in the class. Williams is widely expected to be taken first off the board, so the Patriots will likely choose between Maye or Daniels at No. 3 if they're set on selecting a signal-caller.

On a new episode of the Next Pats Podcast, ESPN's Dan Orlovsky shared who he would take if he were in charge of the Patriots' draft and why.

🔊 Next Pats Podcast: Why the new Patriots’ offense can be a CHEAT CODE for their next QB | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Right now in the first week of February, my initial thought is Jayden Daniels," Orlovsky told hosts Phil Perry and Tom E. Curran.

"I've called basically all these guys' games outside of Caleb. The reason I say Jayden is, I called a couple of games early in the 2022 season and down at LSU, there was this at least internal thought of like, 'Are we gonna move on from Jayden Daniels?' Were they gonna bench him? Because there was concern that he was so hesitant, that he wasn't trusting anything. And to see where it went from there to obviously how this season went for him, you're intrigued by the mental toughness and also you got to see when he is comfortable, that talent shine."

Orlovsky's NFL comparison for Daniels is intriguing. He likens the LSU product's skill set to that of Houston Texans quarterback CJ Stroud, who's coming off a strong rookie campaign in which he led Houston to an improbable playoff berth.

"I had to do a couple tapes three or four weeks ago, so I watched a couple of his games. I'm not saying he's this guy, but when I watched the games, the overwhelming thought was pure as a passer from the pocket. It's the same thought that I had when I watched CJ Stroud last year," Orlovsky said.

"When you watched him in the pocket, you're like, 'Man, it's just so pure.' The throwing motion, I'm a big throwing motion guy. It's just a smooth stroke, and he's got that. I feel confident saying just pure pocket passer wide, and the different types of throws, he's the guy that I think is the best at that."

If the Patriots pass on a QB at No. 3, they could opt for Ohio State star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. MHJ is far and away the top wideout in the draft and considered a generational talent at the position.

The 2024 draft is set to begin on April 25.

Also in the episode:

  • Former NFL QB Matt Ryan shares what the Patriots should expect from the Shanahan offense and how it benefits young QBs.
  • Ryan explains why timing and trust are the biggest challenges of that system.
  • Orlovsky shares his thoughts on Alex Van Pelt and why the Patriots’ new offensive scheme is a ‘cheat code’ for young QBs.
  • Should the Patriots hold on to Mac Jones? Orlovsky makes the case.
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