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#pounditWednesday, April 17, 2024

Patriots could draft surprising player with No. 3 overall pick?

Patriots helmet on the bench

Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; A New England Patriots helmet sits on the sideline during the first half against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have reportedly not ruled out making a surprise move with the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The Patriots’ front office and new coaching staff are said to be in agreement that the team needs to draft an elite quarterback prospect in order to begin their post-Bill Belichick rebuild. Since they have the third overall pick, the Patriots are guaranteed to have a shot at one of the big three QBs in this year’s draft. Caleb Williams will almost certainly be the first player off the board, leaving New England to choose between Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels.

Or maybe not.

According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Patriots are “exploring all their options at quarterback.” That includes potentially signing free agent Baker Mayfield, which would be costly. Breer said he also “wouldn’t totally dismiss” the possibility of New England trading back and drafting JJ McCarthy or even taking the former Michigan star at No. 3.

McCarthy has seen his stock rapidly rise over the past few weeks. One report claimed an NFC team views him as the second-best quarterback prospect in the draft.

It was not that long ago that most analysts predicted McCarthy would be a Day 2 pick, but he is now going inside the top 10 of many mock drafts.

If the Patriots believe McCarthy can be their next franchise quarterback, trading back from No. 3 might be risky. They may not be the only team that is high on McCarthy by the time the draft comes around.

While Jim Harbaugh’s wild prediction about his former quarterback may not come true, McCarthy’s arrow continues to point up.

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