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Monday Patriots Notebook 3/4: News and Notes

How the Patriots handle 'value' at the quarterback position will be something they'll need to be careful with.

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
March 4, 2024 at 10:28 am ET

Monday Patriots Notebook 3/4: News and Notes(PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 6 minutes

Some Patriots news and notes on this Monday:

Don’t Reach, But Don’t Miss, Either:

Sitting with the number three overall pick has the Patriots in a position to select much of the top-end quarterback talent heading into April’s draft, but any thoughts of moving back could certainly have a massive ripple effect.

Coming off of last week’s NFL Combine there have been a fair mount of whispers that have started when it comes to teams suddenly moving into the top 10, with desperation starting to set in for QB-needy teams ahead of the 2024 season.

That’s going to be the danger for the Patriots if they’re not necessarily in on any particular player after both Washington and Chicago make their selections.  Because they may find whoever else they’re leaning toward could be off the board if they move down for the sake of trying to maximize their value next month.

While the Patriots reportedly met with top quarterback prospects Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels, the one that is the most interesting is their meeting with J.J. McCarthy.

The Michigan standout said over the weekend that his meeting with new head coach Jerod Mayo “went amazing,” adding that it would be “an honor” if New England were to take him next month.

McCarthy’s stock has jumped significantly over the last week, with some believing that he’ll go within the top 10 after initially being thought of as a day-two pick.

Some aren’t sure about McCarthy, and certainly not at #3 overall.  But setting that part aside, the key thing the Patriots face is that the thought of “reaching” sort of needs to go out the window when you factor in the risk.  You can move down the board for value, but the idea of potentially taking a player too high becomes less important if another team ultimately jumps up and leaves them without the player they want.

And the rumblings have already started.  The New York Giants are a team that has recently been rumored to be interested in possibly trading into the top 3, with New York currently sitting in the #6 overall spot behind both Arizona (4th overall) and Los Angeles (5th overall).

With Justin Herbert, the Chargers aren’t thought to be in need of a quarterback, and Arizona isn’t believed to be a candidate either after committing to Kyler Murray.  That makes them a dangerous candidate to offer that spot to another QB-needy team, with NFL Network Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah saying something that was a reminder of how quickly the board might change next month.

“It’s a great position. It’s the pole position,” said Jeremiah recently of the Cardinals’ spot. “You more than likely are going to get your choice of any other (non-QB) position in the draft. And if you want to auction it? You might have a chance to do that.”

But for teams like New York, along with the Las Vegas Raiders (another team rumored to be pondering a leap upward to target a QB), and others who haven’t also potentially emerged yet, New England maneuvering out of that spot could possibly see multiple teams move up in front of them and take whoever they’re potentially targeting out of the running.

So while some might ultimately argue against taking a player too high, none of that really matters when the draft is in the rearview and a team with a critical need walks away without the guy they wanted, having been forced to settle for someone else.  No matter how the “value” is perceived in the selection.

J.J. McCarthy

(PHOTO: Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)

McCarthy An Intriguing Player

While Jayden Daniels has been the name most people in New England have been talking about in recent weeks, McCarthy remains one that is worth talking about.

A lot of that has to do with the intangibles, which are certainly in his favor.  He’s not the flashiest or most athletically gifted player, but he fits two key needs the Patriots are obviously looking for.

He’s got a good arm, and he’s careful with the football.  Both of those are obviously two key traits needed in today’s NFL, which makes him an intriguing player.

In his final season at Michigan in 2023 where he led the University to its first National Championship since 1997, he didn’t light things up, but he definitely played well.  He threw 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions, with McCarthy completing 240-of-332 (72.3%) of his passes last season.

When asked about the fact he didn’t put up big numbers, the former Wolverine definitely had the right answer.

“The only stat I cared about was W’s,” McCarthy said via WBZ’s MAtt Geagan.  “And we did pretty good in that category.”

Should New England go on to sign someone like Jacoby Brissett in the coming weeks when free agency kicks off, that’s sort of a best-case scenario for the lanky quarterback.

McCarthy came in at 6’2″, 219-pounds over the weekend, with the soon-to-be rookie putting together a good performance during the throwing drills.  He’s also stronger than he looks, with McCarthy coming in second behind Joe Milton III in throwing velocity after he was measured at 61 mph, right behind Milton III who hit 62 mph.

However, like former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, if the Patriots can buy time with a veteran and give McCarthy a season to get stronger and develop, it could eventually set him up for success either late in the year or into 2025.  Obviously, this isn’t saying McCarthy is anywhere close to Brady’s level, but the process would be similar.

After all, Brady certainly wasn’t physically ready to handle the rigors of the NFL straight out of college.  He was skinny coming out of the six round that year, but he got stronger as his rookie year went on and eventually ended up moving up and seeing action in mop-up duty during their Thanksgiving day loss to the Lions in 2000 while sitting behind then-QB, Drew Bledsoe.

That may be just what McCarthy needs if that’s the direction they decide to go.

The knock on McCarthy has been his touch and sometimes putting too much on his throws, but he showed enough over the weekend (and here) that with the right development, he may turn into a pretty good starter for someone.

Does he deserve to go top three?  Maybe not.  But in the end, missing out on the right player – if that’s how the Patriots ultimately view McCarthy – may outweigh the “value” risk that could see someone else take him instead.

That’s the complicated part of the draft, and the dilemma Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith will both face in the coming weeks as the Patriots continue pondering their options.

Edelman Gives a Glimpse at Halftime in the NFL:

If you ever wondered what goes on when the Patriots head down the stairs into the locker room at halftime, former wide receiver Julian Edelman recently provided a little glimpse into that on his “Games with Names” podcast.

Edelman, who was joined by SNL’s Heidi Gardner, talked about a variety of subjects, including the fact that halftime isn’t just the time to talk X’s and O’s.  Edelman said that trying to add some nutrition was big for players, providing some insight as to what types of foods that players eat coming off of playing 30-minutes of football.

“There’s always pickles for the salt, so you retain water.  They always have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that’s a huge thing,” said Edelman.  “Sometimes they’d have chicken broth if it was like a cold game.  They have every kind of power bar, or protein bar, or meal-supplement bar.”

“Sometimes when it’s like a high-play first half, guys are kind of drained, usually in the heat, you know, you’ve gotta take in calories.  Gives you a little more energy.”

Edelman also went on to say that on game day, he usually takes 5-6 showers, taking one after he wakes up, one after each set of warm-ups ahead of a game, along with potentially another before kickoff, and then obviously after the game.

“I’m a shower-er,” said Edelman.  “I like 5-6 showers a day.”

Needless to say, the Patriots may have seen a dip in their water usage since Edelman decided to retire.

Kendrick Bourne

(PHOTO: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Offers Made:

The Patriots still have some business of their own internally to try and keep several players in the fold, and it sounds like a couple of guys have received offers from New England ahead of free agency.

According to the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan, Kendrick Bourne received an offer for an extension ahead of the Scouting Combine, with the Patriots clearly making it known they’d like to keep him.  However, the reports from MassLive are that the team and Bourne’s camp aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on his market value.

How that compares to the offer he may have received after he was injured last season isn’t known, but it’s a sign that they’d clearly like Bourne to be part of their future.  It may just be a case of how his market develops in the coming weeks.

According to MassLive’s Karen Guregian, Kyle Dugger also reportedly has received an offer for the team, with Eliot Wolf saying last week that both Dugger and Mike Onwenu are both two players the Patriots hope to keep in the fold heading into their next era under new head coach, Jerod Mayo.

Odds and Ends:

Guregian, Mark Daniels, and Chris Mason of MassLive also report that the Patriots are “intrigued” by free-agent receiver Noah Brown, which could remain a name to watch.  The 28-year old Texans receiver finished last season with 33 receptions for 567 yards and two touchdowns. … They also report that the Patriots are expected to shop DeVante Parker this offseason, which comes after the veteran had just been extended by the club last summer. … JuJu Smith-Schuster is also someone New England is expected to explore its options with, although that one will likely be a little tougher due to the size of his contract. … Mike Evans is a name many hoped would land here, although Evans recently said wherever he went, he wanted to play with an “elite” quarterback.  The Bucs instead eliminated any chance of him leaving after Adam Schefter reported the two sides have agreed on an extension to keep him there on Monday. … MassLive also reported that when it comes to Hunter Henry, things aren’t looking positive as the two sides are reportedly, “far apart on an extension.” … As for Troy Brown, it appears his status going forward remains uncertain.  MassLive reports that he was “afforded the opportunity to pursue jobs elsewhere. If he wasn’t able to secure another job, he was free to return to Jerod Mayo’s staff in a capacity TBD.”

READ NEXT:
MORSE: Thoughts on the 2024 NFL Draft Combine

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2024 Patriots Offseason Caleb Williams Devante Parker Drake Maye Hunter Henry J.J. McCarthy Jayden Daniels JuJu Smith-Schuster Julian Edelman Kendrick Bourne Kyle Dugger Mike Evans New England Patriots Noah Brown

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