Sports Sunday

Breer: Why Patriots are ‘unlikely' to trade No. 3 pick in draft

Is Drake Maye the frontrunner to be New England's new QB?

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To trade or not to trade: that is the question. And it appears the New England Patriots are leaning toward an answer.

While the Patriots have the opportunity to select a potential franchise quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, there's been plenty of buzz about New England trading down: The Athletic's Dianna Russini reported Monday the team is "listening and taking calls" from teams looking to trade up to No. 3, and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf admitted last week the Patriots are "open for business" on trading that selection.

During an appearance on NBC Sports Boston's Sports Sunday, however, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer suggested it's "pretty unlikely" the Patriots move off the No. 3 pick in Thursday's first round.

"The teams that are looking to move up, I think, are the Giants (and) the Vikings," Breer said, as seen in the video player above. "They have interest specifically in Drake Maye, the Giants do.

"I think Drake Maye is going to go third overall. I'm just not sure that they're gonna be able to move the needle enough for the Patriots to go all the way up to No. 3. I think the Vikings are a little bit more like, 'We can make it work with (J.J.) McCarthy; we can make it work with (Michael) Penix (Jr.).' So my guess would be the Patriots stick, and it's probably Drake Maye at No. 3."

New England reportedly has strong interest in McCarthy and also met with Penix -- a projected late-first-round or early-second-round pick -- in the event it decides to trade down to draft a QB. But it's pretty clear the Patriots need a QB in this draft, so if they decide to trade with a team like the Vikings, who currently own the No. 11 pick, or even the Giants at No. 6, there's no guarantee that one of Jayden Daniels, Maye or McCarthy would be available.

That means if New England trades down, it may want to consider trading back up to a top-five pick to land McCarthy if he's available. And Breer added some intel that would complicate that quest.

"I can also tell you on good authority, the Cardinals do not plan on moving the fourth pick until they are on the clock," Breer said. "So, that materially means that you're not going to be able to guarantee that you'll be able to get back up to No. 4. And if somebody else has a chance to get up back up to No. 4, then you can't guarantee yourself before you're on the clock that you're going to wind up with McCarthy, which really complicates it."

The Patriots are somewhat at the mercy of the Washington Commanders, who almost certainly will take a QB at No. 2 overall. But if Washington takes Daniels, for example, and New England thinks highly enough of Maye or McCarthy, the most logical path is "sticking and pick" one of those QBs.

Check out the YouTube video below for more draft intel from Breer.

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