Sports Sunday

Breer: Patriots have rebuffed teams looking to trade for No. 3 pick

"The Patriots were a 'no' when teams were looking to move up."

NBC Universal, Inc.

The New England Patriots own their highest draft pick since 1993, and the moment, they're intent on keeping it.

Several teams have explored trading up into the top three of the 2024 NFL Draft, which features three elite quarterback prospects in USC's Caleb Williams, LSU's Jayden Daniels and UNC's Drake Maye. According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, one of those teams was the Atlanta Falcons, who looked into trading up for a QB at the NFL Combine in late February before they signed Kirk Cousins in free agency.

But as Breer reported, neither the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders or New England Patriots were interested in giving up the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 picks, respectively. And it appears that's still the case, especially for the Patriots at No. 3.

"It sounds like right now, the teams in the top three aren't willing to move," Breer noted on NBC Sports Boston's Sports Sunday, as seen in the video above. "Atlanta, during the combine, they investigated moving up as part of their process in looking at cheaper options than Kirk Cousins or Baker Mayfield, and they basically hit a brick wall when they tried to get into the top three."

The Bears seem even more locked in on Williams after trading Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend. And as Breer reports, Washington and New England currently seem set on taking QBs at No. 2 and No. 3, writing Monday for Sports Illustrated that "zero of the three (the Bears, Commanders and Patriots) have shown an appetite for trading one of those picks."

"The Commanders and the Patriots were unwilling to move," Breer added on Sports Sunday. "Now, that can change over time as teams go through their evaluation process, but at least at the combine, the Patriots were a 'no' when teams were looking to move up."

As Breer pointed out, this doesn't mean New England is locked into drafting Daniels or Maye at No. 3. Perhaps another team blows Eliot Wolf and Co. away with a trade offer, which could include multiple future first-round picks. (NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah recently suggested the Minnesota Vikings would have to send the Patriots their No. 11 pick, a 2025 first-round pick and a 2026 first-round pick to move up to No. 3). You could argue there's a benefit to New England trading down and stockpiling additional draft assets to address its many roster needs -- notably at offensive line and wide receiver -- before finding its long-term quarterback.

Then again, many view both Daniels and Maye as franchise QB material, and the No. 3 pick represents the best opportunity for the Patriots to acquire a potential team-altering talent on a rookie contract. If Wolf and his staff are high enough on both Daniels and Maye, they absolutely should use the No. 3 pick on whoever the Commanders don't take.

Check out the video above for more from Breer, The Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard and Sports Sunday host Michael Felger.

Contact Us