Boston Sports Tonight

Breer: Why Pats met with Michael Penix, Drake Maye interest and more

The Patriots seemingly are preparing for multiple scenarios on draft night.

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The New England Patriots will make one of their biggest decisions this century one week from Thursday, and they're leaving no stone unturned.

Many expect the Patriots to use the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on a quarterback, whether that's LSU's Jayden Daniels, UNC's Drake Maye or Michigan's J.J. McCarthy. So, it was a bit surprising to hear the team met earlier this week with Washington QB Michael Penix Jr., who's projected as a late first-round pick.

As Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer explained Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, Penix was a late add to New England's top-30 visits, as the Patriots wanted to meet with the QB in case they decide to trade down from No. 3 and still take a QB.

"The three guys they were going to have in were Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and J.J. McCarthy, and then late in the process, they added Michael Penix to the meeting list," Breer said, as seen in the video player above.

"I have it on pretty good authority that it's in the case that they do trade down, that they'd be prepared for that. I still think they stick and pick at No. 3, but they're at least preparing for the contingency that they could trade down."

Our Tom E. Curran has reported it would take a "massive" offer for the Patriots to trade out of the No. 3 pick -- bigger than the haul the Miami Dolphins received from the San Francisco 49ers for the third overall pick in 2021. But as Breer pointed out, there are multiple teams still interested in trading up to No. 3 to take Maye.

"I know there are at least a couple teams that have an interest in Drake Maye that could get aggressive over the next week," Breer said. "And again, if somebody's willing to do something crazy, are you willing to go down? If you go down, can you guarantee that you can get back up? Because I think that would be part of the plan, to try to get back up.

"Arizona is driving a very hard bargain at No. 4. They may not move out of there. I think the Chargers are willing (to trade the No. 5 pick), but you might have competition for that pick, so if you trade down, it's a little complicated. You can't guarantee that you're going to get the fourth (pick)."

Based on Breer's reporting, it makes sense why the Patriots would meet with Penix. If they think highly enough of the 23-year-old QB and a team like the Minnesota Vikings wants to trade up to draft Maye, imagine the following scenario: New England lands the No. 11 and No. 23 picks in addition to at least one (if not two) future first-round picks, then uses those 2024 first-rounders on Washington star receiver Rome Odunze (No. 11) and his Huskies QB in Penix at No. 23.

🔊 Patriots Talk Podcast: Pros and cons of J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels for the Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The question, of course, is whether Penix can be the Patriots' QB of the future. As our Phil Perry warned, Penix has a significant injury history, and his "bombs away" throwing style may not be a good fit behind New England's suspect offensive line and subpar wide receiver room. Both Maye and Daniels are superior QB prospects, so it'd be hard to pass up on either if they're available at No. 3.

In any case, it's smart for the Patriots to do their due diligence on Penix and keep all of their options open before Round 1 next Thursday night.

Check out the video below for more insight from Breer on Boston Sports Tonight.

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