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Mock NFL Draft Roundup: Maye, Daniels or Harrison Jr. to the Patriots?

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FOXBORO -- We are just 10 short weeks away from the 2024 NFL Draft, but there is still plenty of time to debate what the Patriots should do with the third overall pick.

Many fans, writers, and football execs are in the camp that the Patriots should take whichever quarterback falls to them with that third pick. It's pretty universal that Caleb Williams will go with the top pick, leaving New England to take either UNC quarterback Drake Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels. Which of those two will go second and which one will fall to the Patriots is a pretty hot topic at the moment.

Maye's stock has risen since the end of the college season, but a handful of mock drafters still have him available at No. 3. Others have him going second overall to the Washington Commanders, leaving Daniels for the Patriots.

There are even a few mockers who like the Patriots to draft Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., leaving Eliot Wolf, Jerod Mayo and the New England decision-makers to find a new quarterback later in the draft.

Here's a roundup of the latest mock drafts out there, with only three different players going to New England at No. 3:

Field Yates, Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Drake Maye
Drake Maye Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback is still 21 years old and has the prototypical build for an NFL passer. Maye is a strike-thrower when targeting the middle of the field, but he also shows nifty pocket agility to extend plays and has 16 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons. As the Patriots embark on a new era under Jerod Mayo, they could build the new offense around Maye. New England finished last season 30th in yards per attempt (6.1) and 31st in Total QBR (31.6).  

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

The Patriots cannot come out of this draft without a quarterback. Drake Maye could push Caleb Williams for QB1, depending on the team -- and Jayden Daniels could be in the QB2 conversation, too. This QB class is deep at the top, so different teams will have different favorites.  

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. scores a touchdown against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the 2023 season. KDKA Web Producer/Photojournalist Mike Darnay

If Maye is to fall, that slip might really take off here if the Patriots don't pick him at No. 3 overall. In this mock, they add a big, dynamic vertical threat to the receiver group with Harrison Jr.  

Maye drops to the Giants with the sixth overall pick in this mock.

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Florida v LSU
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

No Tom Brady. No Bill Belichick. Now on the throne sits new head coach Jerod Mayo, so it is a great opportunity to start fresh with a new quarterback as well. Jayden Daniels is coming off a super productive season and has dual-threat ability.

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Harrison could be the top-ranked player on a few boards come draft night. And while offensive tackle and quarterback also remain possibilities for New England, Harrison not only can make an entire offense better, he also can help a struggling quarterback. He's a true game-changer and the best receiver in the draft — in a year full of great ones. 

In this mock, Daniels drops to the Atlanta Falcons with the eighth overall pick.

Vinnie Iyer, The Sporting News: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

The Patriots have already waved the white flag on Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, neither of whom worked out as pocket passers. Here they can go for the much bigger arm and athletic upside of Maye, who is a better version of Howell, his Tar Heels predecessor. They should look at QB first before addressing other offensive skill needs, and Maye makes easy sense should Williams and Daniels be off the board. 

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

All the subtle — or not-so-subtle — quotes from the Patriots' decision-makers hint that a quarterback is strongly in play for them at No. 3.

Daniels was elite as a runner and passer in the Tigers' system this season. For a team so desperate for a quarterback, I don't think the Pats pass on whoever is left between the top three quarterbacks.

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA Today: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Jerod Mayo has vowed to go his own way as the Patriots' new coach and not try to be another version of Bill Belichick. An important early differentiator for him might be how he handles the team's quarterback situation. If he elects to take the Heisman Trophy winner Daniels, New England would enjoy a far more dynamic threat behind center than Mac Jones while also getting a supremely accurate and fluid passer from the pocket. 

Joseph Acosta, SB Nation: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

While I think WR Marvin Harrison Jr is an enticing possibility here, new Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo has spoken extensively about finding a guy at the most important position in the sport. While Daniels can be very reckless with his body as a runner and as a downfield passer, the explosiveness of his arm and legs is a needed boost to a Patriots offense that severely lacks much of anything.  

Anthony Williams, Pro Football Network: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

While Drake Maye has gained more attention in this draft cycle, Jayden Daniels has out-of-this-world athleticism. The Patriots have been dealing with Mac Jones and need a quarterback of Daniels' talents to bring some creativity to the offense as the team tries to find its first franchise quarterback since Tom Brady left.  

Connor Livesay, The 33rd Team: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

There are a lot of whispers about the New England Patriots trading back from No. 3, but we're not doing trades, and the need for a franchise quarterback means Jayden Daniels makes the most sense. 

The Patriots could elect to build the roster and drop the quarterback in later, but adding a dual-threat option in Daniels is the most exciting way to start a new era in New England.

Over his three-round mock, Livesay has the Patriots drafting Arizona tackle Jordan Morgan at No. 34 and Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall at No. 68.

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