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Thursday Patriots Notebook 3/28: News and Notes

New England Patriots news as the club continues scouting QBs ahead of next mont.

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
March 28, 2024 at 11:24 am ET

Thursday Patriots Notebook 3/28: News and Notes(PHOTO: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 6 minutes

Some Patriots news and notes for this morning:

If Pats Trade Down, History Says Skip QB

As the Patriots continue pondering what to do with the #3 pick, if history is any indication, should they trade out of that spot, they’re going to need to bear down and actually fill their other needs rather than potentially target a player further down the board at QB next month.

Phi Perry of NBC Sports Boston appeared on Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday and highlighted a fact from Alex Barth of 98.5 The Sports Hub on how things have turned out when teams opted to make a deal to enhance their draft haul, while opting to target a quarterback later in round one.

The results?  Well, they haven’t been good, and Barth’s list of who other teams have ended up with would certainly make you second-guess that strategy.

“You’re getting too cute,” said Perry.  “Listen, I appreciate trying to play the draft game.  Turn one pick into two, they’re all darts, you’re throwing at the dartboard, I get it, more chances is better.  That is way too cute at the quarterback position.  If a guy is not worthy of your top pick, the all likelihood, he ain’t worthy of a first round pick.

“This is courtesy of Alex Barth, 98.5 The Sports Hub.  He does a fantastic job.  He found over the last 30-years, teams that traded down and still took quarterbacks in the first round – You ready for this list of names? – E.J. Manual.  Kevin Cobb,  Res Grossman, Patrick Ramsay, Cade McKnown, and Kerry Collins.”

“That’s a horrifying list.  Those teams should have trusted themselves and said to themselves, ‘Well, if the guy’s not worthy of our first pick in the first round, why in the hell would we trade back and still take him in the first round with another pick?”

“Trust yourself.  Trust your instincts.  If the guy’s not worthy of your top pick, if he ain’t that good, don’t spend a first-round pick on him.   So don’t, in this case, the modern-day example to me, would be the Patriots trade back to #11 with the Vikings and they take Bo Nix.  I don’t think Bo Nix is a bad player.  I think he’s fine.  I think he’s one of the five, in all likelihood, when Jerod Mayo said the other day at the owner’s meeting that there’s five guys who can start in this league.  I think Bo Nix can start in this league.  To me, there’s a difference in a starting quarterback and star quarterback, a guy who lifts all boats.  A franchise quarterback.  An elevator.  There’s a difference between that, which I think you can get at #3 overall, and a starter.”

“Mac Jones was a starter, got him in the middle of the first round.  Not a horrible pick, had the best year one of any rookie quarterback in 2021.”

Scott Zolak believes, after looking at things, they should “get a bag,” as Jerod Mayo said earlier this week, “because you need so much help.”

Zolak added that based on what he’s heard, he thinks they’re exploring trading down.

“I’m not hearing it’s all favoring, whether it’s Drake Maye, whether it’s Jayden Daniels, or whether it’s J.J. McCarthy,” said Zolak.  “I’m not hearing, most of the votes leaning one way or another.  No one’s saying anything about one individual player from the quarterback standpoint at three.”

“I’m not hearing anything.  I’m not.  People thought I was hearing things about the McCarthy thing.  I just watched the tape last week.  People I talk to, they’re saying they understand it’s like Jerod said and what the owner said.  ‘We’d like a guy at three, we’re interested, it’s a priority at quarterback, but we’re open for business guys.’  I think they’re shopping the pick down there.”

Jayden Daniels

(PHOTO: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Large Group For Patriots On Hand For Daniels

Albert Breer reported on Wednesday that the Patriots had a large group on hand at LSU yesterday to get an up-close look at quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Breer Tweeted that the Patriots had 9 people at LSU’s Pro Day, including Eliot Wolf, Jerod Mayo, Matt Groh, Pat Stewart, Alonzo Highsmith, Cam Williams, Alex Van Pelt, Ben McAdoo, and TC McCartney.

The school had 13 members overall of LSU’s 2023 roster working out in front of teams Wednesday, which also included wide receiver Malik Nabers.

According to the school’s website, other players reportedly on hand were Maason Smith (DL), Omar Speights (LB), Ovie Ogoufo (DL), John Emery Jr. (RB), Brian Thomas Jr. (WR), Andre Sams (DB), Mekhi Wingo (DL), Jay Bramblett (P), Noah Cain (RB), Charles Turner III (OL), Gregory Clayton Jr. (WR), and Jordan Jefferson (DL).

In addition to his on-field workout, Daniels reportedly met with the club during a private meeting Wednesday night.  Evan Lazar of Patriots.com reported that the club also met with Nabers, who is expected to be a first-round pick next month.

The Patriots are reportedly in Chapel Hill today for Drake Maye’s workout, with Breer reporting that everyone, with the exception of Cam Williams, who was at LSU yesterday again being in attendance for today’s workout.

Meanwhile, Williams is reportedly in Washington for Michael Penix’s Pro Day.

(PHOTO: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Bengals Standing Pat with Higgins?

As we know, Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins is reportedly unhappy and has requested a trade out in Cincinnati, but it sounds like the Bengals may not be looking to accommodate him.

In fact, head coach Zach Taylor doubled down this week and is talking as if he expects Higgins to be out there for them this season.

“We’re excited for Tee to have a great year for us,” Taylor said, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We think he’s our best chance to help us win a Super Bowl. I’ve enjoyed working with Tee the last four years, I expect this year to be no different.”

Higgins had the franchise tag placed on him by the Bengals ahead of free agency, which – barring any type of contract extension – has him slated to earn $21.8 million in 2024.

He’s a player who many here in New England believed could make an impact, and it’s still possible that Taylor is just playing hardball, trying to drum up interest and let teams know that it would take quite an offer to move them from that spot.

The Patriots could possibly turn their attention there during draft weekend, which has been a time for deals like that to come to fruition.  D.J. Moore and A.J. Brown are just a couple of examples we’ve seen in recent years.

Should a deal be made, the hope would be the Patriots would then get him under a long-term deal, as Higgins is just 25-years old and would certainly be a solid piece to an offense still in need of a downfield threat.

With New England possibly exploring moving down and acquiring more draft capital, that additional currency might give them the ability to make that deal and still address other areas, albeit, they would still need to figure things out at quarterback.

Needless to say, it’s going to be interesting to see what they ultimately end up doing heading into next month’s draft.

Odds and Ends

When it comes to Daniels, Lazar said that the rookie “looks like an NBA star as a long, trimmed athlete who will add more muscle now that he’s turning pro.”  His weight and size remain a concern, although some believe he can add weight ahead of when he comes into the NFL and then build from there. The school’s site listed him officially at 6’3 5/8″, 210 pounds on Wednesday. … The rumors continue to fly on Washington potentially taking J.J. McCarthy at #2 overall, and there could be competition for first overall, if Louis Riddick has anything to say about it.  He said on GetUp on Thursday he believes Daniels should be considered for the top spot after what he saw yesterday.  “This is a guy who is locked in,” said Riddick. “For me, I said a couple weeks ago I thought this guy should be QB No. 1, but I just wanted to see him in person. After looking at him in person, there’s no doubt in my mind.” … Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman apparently wasn’t pleased with Wes Welker’s comments when it came to Bill Belichick in the Dynasty, specifically as it pertained to Aaron Hernandez getting favorable treatment.  “Welker’s out here saying like Aaron Hernandez got away with murder — figuratively speaking — at practice; that’s not even true,” Edelman said on his “Games With Names” podcast. “Welker painted the picture he [Hernandez] was like the king, like he got to do anything. I remember Bill ‘motherf–-king’ Aaron all the time,” adding, “Come on, Welk. Trying to make up stories. We know you don’t like Bill.” … Former Patriots offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer spoke with Perry in his latest Next Pats Podcast and he feels that if the Patriots don’t go QB, tackle should be the priority. “Personally, if it’s the quarterback you want (at No. 3), I would take him,” said Vollmer.  “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.”

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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.


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