Patriots Likely To Retain No. 3 Pick; Latest On Team’s QB Situation

6:57PM: It was certainly accurate to call this situation murky. After reports earlier today seemed to indicate that New England would stick with their No. 3 overall pick and perhaps explore options other than quarterback, newer reports from the first day of the NFL annual owners meetings see Mayo muddying the waters, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

“Obviously, quarterback is definitely a priority,” Mayo told the media. “With that being said, we’re still open to any type of deals that come our way. We’re very far (into) the process, but we still have a long way to go. Definitely feel like we have time to really nail down our prospects in who we are going to go after.”

Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf echoed those sentiments, claiming that their decision will factor in how they have the available players ranked and what potential trade offers come in. The popular opinion is that New England will still aim to pursue a passer at No. 3, but if some insane trade offer comes in, the team is willing to listen.

2:11PM: It is widely assumed around the league the Bears and Commanders will use the top two selections in April’s draft on quarterbacks. The latest developments in both cases reinforce that notion, but the situation could be murkier with respect to the Patriots.

New England owns the No. 3 pick, and with Mac Jones no longer in the fold the team is need of a quarterback addition. Veteran Jacoby Brissett was brought back to potentially serve as a bridge starter, but a long-term investment under center would come as no surprise. When asked about the team’s position, though, rookie head coach Jerod Mayo cautioned the Patriots are not fully committed to using their top selection on a passer.

“It’s the priority right now,” Mayo said in an interview with NFL Network’s Steve Wyche“But with that being said, you have to really be in love with the guy to take him at No. 3. So really all the options are still open for us.”

New England will likely be left with one member of the Caleb WilliamsJayden DanielsDrake Maye trio if the team stays put at the third slot. The Patriots may not be sold on the latter, something which could become increasingly relevant if he finds himself as the top passer on the board with New England on the clock and interested suitors willing to move up the order. A trade out of the No. 3 position would nevertheless come as a surprise, however.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano notes confidence grew during the Combine that New England would turn down the opportunity to move back and instead use the third overall pick on a signal-caller. As detailed by Graziano’s colleague Mike Reiss, the Patriots have been among the teams heavily interested in the Pro Days of the 2024 class’ top quarterbacks, something which will continue this coming week. Signs therefore continue to point to a rookie being added, although the presence of Brissett means even a first-round selection may not start right away.

“To get him back in the building is definitely helpful for us,” Mayo said of the latter. “And honestly, look, he could absolutely be our starter this year. We’ll have to see. Like I said, we’re not dead set at taking a quarterback at No. 3, but we do feel good having a guy like Jacoby ready to go.”

New England currently owns seven picks other than No. 3, including the 34th overall selection. The team could have the chance to add a second-tier QB as a result, and with the fourth and fifth picks known to be available a bidding war could develop amongst trade-up candidates. The Patriots’ actions will be worth watching closely as the draft draws nearer.

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