Proposed Blockbuster Trade Sends ‘Universal Favorite’ QB to Patriots

Robert Kraft

Getty Robert Kraft could land Caleb Williams with a trade for the No. 1 pick.

The New England Patriots could take a quarterback at No. 1 in the NFL Draft for the second time in three decades if the Chicago Bears “listen” as’s Ali Bahnpuri put it.

New England drafted Drew Bledsoe at No. 1 in 1993 after a dismal 2-14 season, which the 2023 Patriots mirrored in a 4-13 campaign that called for a rebuild. Chicago holds the No. 1 pick with USC quarterback Caleb Williams waiting in the wings, but the Bears also have a quality former first round quarterback in Justin Fields, who has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks.

However, the Patriots could leverage the No. 3 pick as Bahnpuri sees it and Fields would stay in the Windy City. The Patriots instead would have Williams, the “universal favorite” for the top pick.

“If the Patriots’ new leadership decides to make a splash for the top pick, the Bears would be wise to listen,” Bahnpuri wrote. “In this scenario, Chicago would likely still be able to land consensus WR1 Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 3 overall, pairing the dynamic pass catcher with DJ Moore to form one of the league’s most dangerous receiving combos.”

“The Bears could then stick and pick at No. 9 or package that selection, with the newly acquired second-rounder, to move up for the No. 1 tackle on the team’s board,” Bahnpuri added. “The opportunity to address two massive offensive needs with top-tier talent on team-friendly deals, while still holding multiple first-rounders in the 2025 draft, improves this squad immediately and for the future.”

In Bahnpuri’s trade proposal, the Patriots would give up the 2025 first round pick plus a second-round pick for 2024 at No. 34, and a 2026 third-round pick. Considered a generational talent, Williams may be worth it for the quarterback-starved Patriots.

Caleb Williams Could Change Things at QB for the Patriots

Williams threw for 10,082 yards and 93 touchdowns versus 14 interceptions in three full collegiate seasons. He spent 2021 with Oklahoma before he transferred to USC where he won the Heisman Trophy in 2022.

At 6-foot-1, 218-pounds, Williams poses a threat with both his throwing arm and his legs. He tallied 966 yards for 27 touchdowns in college.

New England hasn’t experienced stability at quarterback since Tom Brady left Foxborough in 2020. Cam Newton didn’t pan out that year, and Mac Jones, the No. 15 pick in 2021, regressed during the past two seasons.

Patriots Have QB Options at No. 3 Pick

If the Patriots don’t opt for Williams, viable options remain in North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Maye could likely land with the Washington Commanders at No. 2, however, which would leave Daniels at No. 3 for the Patriots.

“If [Mayo] 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,” USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz wrote on February 12.

However, not all view Daniels as an ideal pick for the Patriots despite his athleticism and success at LSU. Daniels won the Heisman Trophy in 2023 amid 3,812 yards passing for 40 touchdowns plus 1,134 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.

“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,” Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema wrote on February 12.

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