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Patriots reportedly ‘really want to draft a quarterback’ with No. 3 pick

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By: Bernd Buchmasser

Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

New England is looking to upgrade the most important position on the roster in the NFL Draft.

The New England Patriots have a franchise-altering decision to make in this year’s NFL Draft. As the owners of the third overall selection they need to decide whether to address the quarterback position, or to use the valuable asset differently in hopes of improving a roster with holes all over.

While there are arguments in favor of going down that second route, the Patriots seemingly have different plans: they want to add a QB at No. 3, according to a report by Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

The Patriots really want to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 pick. The front office wrapped up its pre-free-agency meetings a week ago and seems to be on the same page that the best way to jump-start this rebuild and yield long-term success is to find a young quarterback in the NFL Draft to build around. …

[T]he Patriots look at it like this: If you get the rare chance to draft one of the top prospects at the game’s most valuable position, it’s worth taking a big swing even if the surrounding roster isn’t great. The quarterback position is simply too important to risk passing on one in hopes of maybe landing one a year or two later.

It goes without saying that a lot can change between now and the NFL Draft in late April. Additionally, Combine week is always also smokescreen season: not every piece of information coming out of Indianapolis this week can definitively be taken at face value.

That said, the Patriots indeed planning to draft a quarterback third overall would not come as a surprise either. Fact is, after all, that they have a hole at the most important position on the field even with three players — Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, Nathan Rourke — currently under contract for the 2024 season.

With neither Jones nor Zappe playing starting-caliber football last season and contributing greatly to the team’s 4-13 record, New England trying to upgrade at quarterback is a realistic option. And luckily for the team, this year’s draft features some intriguing talent to do just that.

USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and LSU’s Jayden Daniels are the big names and consensus top three; them going 1-2-3 in the draft would not be a shocking outcome. The questions are a) what the other teams picking in front of New England (Chicago, Washington) will do, and b) whether the team likes all three of them equally and relative to the other talent available.

The Patriots, whose contingent for the Scouting Combine is led by scouting director Eliot Wolf and head coach Jerod Mayo, will have to answer those questions over the coming weeks. The Combine and its interview opportunities play a big part in that.

As of Thursday morning, the Patriots have either already met with or are planning to meet all three of Williams, Maye and Daniels. In addition, they also will meet with Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy and Oregon’s Bo Nix — two other potential first-round selections.

“When we meet with them, ask the right questions,” Eliot Wolf said during a media availability session earlier this week. “And that may be here in a formal interview or a later date on a pro day or wherever that may be. We have to determine who can handle being the quarterback of the New England Patriots.”

Originally posted on Pats Pulpit