Next Pats Podcast

Why ex-Patriots lineman thinks team should prioritize QB in NFL Draft

If you thought Sebastian Vollmer would advocate for a left tackle, think again...

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Which position should the New England Patriots address first in the 2024 NFL Draft?

That's the (multi) million-dollar question facing de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and the Patriots' front office as they prepare their plans for the No. 3 overall pick, the franchise's highest selection since 1993.

There's an obvious case for New England using that pick on a quarterback; two of the quarterback trio of UNC's Drake Maye, LSU's Jayden Daniels and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy are guaranteed to be on the board at No. 3. But there's also a case for the Patriots trading down -- perhaps with a team like the Minnesota Vikings, as our Patriots Insider Phil Perry laid out in his latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft -- and accumulating draft capital to address other pressing needs such as wide receiver and offensive tackle.

You'd think that latter path would be the preference of a former Patriots offensive lineman like Sebastian Vollmer, the team's second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft who helped bring two Super Bowl titles to New England. But Vollmer gave a surprising answer on a new Next Pats Podcast when host Phil Perry asked what he would do with the Patriots' first-round pick.

🔊 Next Pats: Mock Draft Madness: Patriots pass on Drake Maye, trade with Vikings | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"You could really argue both ways," Vollmer began. "I think if you have a quarterback -- if you have a C.J. Stroud -- you can make a lot of things look good. But it's also rare that you have a rookie quarterback develop to that degree that quick if you're being under duress. So, I think with the right system and a great quarterback, you can eliminate some of offensive line play.

" ... Personally, if it's the quarterback you want (at No. 3), I would take him. If it's not, I wouldn't reach for the guy you don't want because you're going to be in the same position unless he really develops into something. Then I would go with a tackle."

Stroud presents compelling evidence for drafting a QB at No. 3 overall. The Ohio State product helped the Houston Texans go from 3-13-1 in 2022 to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth in 2023, putting together one of the best rookie campaigns by a quarterback in recent memory.

Stroud might be the exception to the rule, though; he was the first top-three QB to reach the playoffs as a rookie starter since Andrew Luck in 2012. Vollmer understands there's a risk in dropping a first-year quarterback onto a bad team, but he also views a greater reward.

"I feel like it's going to be hard to win a lot of championships without a great quarterback," Vollmer added. "I think it can happen, but I think it's not a dynasty, what you build."

Also in this episode:

  • Phil Perry breaks down his most recent mock draft 
  • Sebastian Vollmer on whether Belichick’s coaching style works in today’s NFL 
  • Vollmer on former teammate Jerod Mayo becoming head coach 
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