Quick Slants

Who will it be at No. 3? Curran weighs in on pivotal Pats decision

Should Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or J.J. McCarthy be the next Patriots QB?

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De facto general manager Eliot Wolf and the New England Patriots have a massive decision to make with the No. 3 pick in this month's NFL Draft.

Two of the top three quarterbacks after Caleb Williams, who's a virtual lock to go No. 1, will be available when the Patriots are on the clock. All signs point toward New England selecting either UNC's Drake Maye, LSU's Jayden Daniels, or Michigan's J.J. McCarthy. There's also a chance they trade down if a team offers a boatload of assets to get into the top three.

Maye and Daniels appeared to be the frontrunners to land in Foxboro, then the McCarthy rumors have started to heat up. At this point, what the Patriots will do at No. 3 is anyone's guess. The same can be said for which of the three quarterbacks will stand out above the others two years from now.

On a new episode of Quick Slants, our Tom E. Curran asked Pats fans to ponder a specific scenario before picking their preferred signal-caller.

"Picture this," Curran said in the video above. "It's October 2026. You coach the team and you're down 24-20. There's a minute and 30 (seconds) remaining. You get the ball at your own 25. You're playing in the Armageddon Bowl and the fate of the world rests on the outcome. Who do you want at quarterback?

"Remember, it's October '26. You want Drake (Maye)? You want Jayden Daniels? You want J.J. McCarthy? But you have to project now, who's gotten better? Who's gotten hurt? Who's already on his way to quarterback limbo where the (Sam) Darnolds and the Macs (Mac Jones) and the Justin Fields' and Trey Lances live. This is the essence of what the Patriots are trying to decide."

Curran believes Daniels is the most talented of the bunch, but notes there are question marks with all three options.

"Right now, to me, you'd want Jayden Daniels out there. Most mobile, best passer. To me, that's a layup," he added. "But in two seasons, who's the best? How many times have the Patriots pointed to Drake Maye's high ceiling as if he is going to be, if he reaches it, better than all of them? He should be on his way there by '26.

"Meanwhile, Daniels, how brittle will he be? How will he play in the cold? McCarthy? That's the issue. Nobody really grasps how athletic J.J. McCarthy is, and the fact that he won like nobody else. But there's less usage."

In fellow NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Phil Perry's crowd-sourced mock draft, Maye dominated the vote for the team's No. 3 pick. Trading down was the second-most popular option.

Wolf and the Patriots will make their potentially franchise-altering decision when the 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on April 25.

You can watch the full episode of Quick Slants below or on YouTube:

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