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Drake Maye to Patriots with third overall pick in latest mock draft by ESPN's Field Yates, Mel Kiper Jr.

Sports Final: Jerod Mayo's staff is introduced and what the Patriots will be looking for at NFL Comb
Sports Final: Jerod Mayo's staff is introduced and what the Patriots will be looking for at NFL Comb 06:54

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots are expected to address their need at quarterback with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Considering there are two other QB-needy teams picking ahead of them, the Pats may not get their first pick of the bunch.

USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye, and LSU's Jayden Daniels sit atop most mock draft boards, with Williams the consensus No. 1 pick to the Chicago Bears and Maye and Daniels flipflopping in the two-spot. We should get a little more clarity, and potentially some separation, between those two in the coming weeks with the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week and pro days in the near future.

ESPN's Field Yates and Mel Kiper Jr. mocked the first dozen picks of the 2024 NFL Draft on Monday, and have Williams going off the board first, but then believe that the Washington Commnaders will take Daniels at second overall.

That leaves Maye to fall to the Patriots with the third pick.

"This player has shown a ton of upside and he is a strike thrower," Yates said of Maye. "You and I both agree that Drake Maye has all the goods to be a high, high level franchise quarterback in the NFL."

Kiper Jr. said that the biggest caveat to Maye's success in New England would be whether or not the Patriots surround him with talent on offense. He added that Mac Jones was "hung out to dry" by the Patriots, and the team cannot afford to send out a rookie quarterback with a lackluster offensive line and no real weapons in the passing game.

The AFC is loaded with top tier quarterback talent, and the Patriots have Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, and Aaron Rodgers to contend with in their division. New England has to hope that Maye -- or whomever they draft at quarterback -- can reach that level sometime in the near future.

"You gotta hope that Drake Maye can be that guy, and the only way he will be is for the organization to do what they need to do -- which is what everybody needs to do -- and help your quarterback out," said Kiper Jr. "They forgot about Mac Jones. Drake Maye is a lot more talented than Mac, but every quarterback needs assistance up front, unless it's Patrick Mahomes, who can win with anybody."

The ESPN duo had receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. going fourth overall to the Arizona Cardinals and left tackle Joe Alt to the Los Angeles Chargers to round out the top five. Williams, Daniels, and Maye weren't the only quarterbacks to go in the first 12 picks, either, with the Denver Broncos taking Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy at 12th overall in Monday's mock.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit.

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