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Patriots Face Tough Decisions to Both Not Reach at #3, But Not Miss, Either

The pressure is on for the New England Patriots to get their pick right at #3 overall.

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
March 4, 2024 at 4:04 pm ET

Patriots Face Tough Decisions to Both Not Reach at #3, But Not Miss, Either(PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 2 minutes

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.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The above appeared in a recent notebook column here.)

McCarthy An Intriguing Player For Possible Patriots Target

About Ian Logue

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

Tags: 2024 Patriots Draft Caleb Williams Drake Maye J.J. McCarthy Jayden Daniels Jerod Mayo

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