Patriots Predicted to Land ‘High-End’ Quarterback

Robert Kraft

Getty Robert Kraft could have a new quarterback via the draft in 2024.

As offseason predictions ramped up, ESPN’s Seth Walder casted his prognostication of whom the New England Patriots will start at quarterback in 2024.

Walder predicts that the Patriots take LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels in the NFL Draft and start him Week 1. Since the Patriots select at No. 3 in the draft, Walder notes “that’s usually too good a position for teams to pass up, and LSU’s Daniels fits here”.

In addition, “this is a team that needs a quarterback after suffering with Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe last season and is in range to get a high-end rookie without trading up” as Walder wrote. Jones and Zappe combined for 3,392 yards passing for 16 touchdowns versus 21 interceptions.

“Maybe the Patriots will trade down or become tantalized by Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., and take him with the No. 3 pick,” Walder wrote before he explained Daniels as the best option.

That said, rumors have swirled on the Patriots making a trade with the No. 3 pick, and options besides a rookie quarterback exist this offseason. New England could land one of the top free agents such as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins or Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield.

A team bereft of depth at many positions, the Patriots could maximize on draft capital to add quality talent at multiple positions this year. The team slumped to 4-13 last season amid key injuries on defense and an offense that sputtered to 13.9 points per game.

Patriots Face Concerns on Jayden Daniels

Daniels could be the answer at quarterback if the Patriots do make good on Walder’s prediction, but there are concerns to be addressed. A 6-foot-4 quarterback, Daniels has received doubts over his slim frame and small hand size, but neither overly concern the Patriots.

The Athletic’s Chad Graff reported that the Patriots are considering Daniels for the No. 3 pick, and Daniels’ 9 and 5/8-inch hands doesn’t disqualify him. However, Graff reported that scouts want Daniels “at or above 210 pounds at the combine because there are concerns about his slight frame and the big hits he too often takes.”

Daniels had a monster 2023 season where he won the Heisman Trophy amid 3,812 yards passing for 40 touchdowns plus 1,134 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. His NFL Draft interest consequently shot up to where he’s in the same conversation as top prospects Caleb Williams from USC and Drake Maye from North Carolina.

Patriots Insider Argues Against Drafting a Quarterback

Though he sees drafting a quarterback as likely, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran doesn’t believe the Patriots should do it, given the state of the franchise.

“Put it this way, I think that the quarterbacks would have to eliminate themselves from consideration in order for the Patriots to not take a quarterback,” Curran said during “The Rich Eisen Show” on Monday. “By that I mean their leaning seems to be significantly in the direction of a quarterback.”

“To me I think the team is in such poor straits offensively, and they are trying to implement a program. I wonder if the Patriots even deserve to take a quarterback at this juncture,” Curran continued. “I mean they’re in disarray on the offensive line, they don’t have a top end receiver, they don’t have a tight end under contract. They have one running back, Rhamondre Stevenson, under contract, so there are so many different places.”

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