Patriots Urged to Land Record-Breaking QB in NFL Draft

Jayden Daniels, possible Patriots pick in the NFL draft

Getty Jayden Daniels, possible Patriots pick in the NFL draft

Fair to say, the New England Patriots have had a spotty recent history making picks in the first round of the NFL draft. Sony Michael, N’Keal Harry and, of course, Mac Jones have all been recent first-rounders for New England, and while the 2023 first-rounder Christian Gonzalez looks to be a winner, the jury is still out on 2022 first-rounder Cole Strange.

This time around, though, the Patriots have the No. 3 pick and they’re being urged to do the obvious thing with it: draft LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, the 23-year-old who just set the NCAA record with 208.0 quarterback rating.

It’s a safe assumption that after a miserable year in New England, Jones will be sent elsewhere this offseason. Bailey Zappe, who took over the job from Jones, could well stick around and compete for the job as the starter. But the Patriots need a franchise guy, and with the Top 2 picks likely going to quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, Daniels ought to be the Patriots’ man.

That’s the assertion from Bleacher Report’s scouting staff, which sees Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, as the ideal fit to take the reins from Jones and Zappe.

Patriots Miss Out on Top QBs With No. 3 Pick in NFL Draft

In an article on Wednesday, B/R wrote that while there might be a temptation to trade up in the NFL draft for Maye or Williams, going all in on Daniels is the right way to go.

“The Patriots probably did too much winning to draft Drake Maye or Caleb Williams unless they are willing to trade up. With so many needs across the roster, it’s probably a better idea to sit back and take Jayden Daniels. The Heisman winner has forced himself into the top-five conversation with an incredible final season at LSU,” according to the B/R staff.

The numbers on Daniels were incredible this season. He completed 72.2% of his passes for LSU, for 3,812 yards in 12 games, third in all of NCAA football. His 40 touchdown throws are tops in college, and he has thrown just four interceptions. He has also rushed for 1,134 yards and another 10 touchdowns.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic’s draft analyst, wrote that Daniels, a transfer from Arizona State, was a late bloomer. “At the beginning of the season, I wouldn’t have guessed that Daniels would appear in the top 10 of my first mock draft. But in studying his tape and seeing his continual improvements, you start to run out of reasons why he doesn’t belong. I think several teams slotted in the top 10 will think the same way,” Brugler noted.

Who Would Coach Jayden Daniels?

Of course, the big question when it comes to the Patriots and whom they draft—whether it is a quarterback or another position, whether it is Daniels or someone else—is who will be doing the picking. There still is no clarity on whether the Patriots will keep Bill Belichick on board as coach and, if they do, will they strip away his personnel powers and add a general manager?

It’s hard to imagine Belichick willingly picking a dual-threat quarterback. But B/R draft analyst Derrik Klassen says he should, if it is Daniels.

“Overall, Daniels has an exciting floor as a prospect,” Klassen said. “He is a veteran-like presence in the pocket, and he’s far and away the best athlete in the class at the position. Daniels’ average arm talent and inconsistent accuracy may limit his ceiling, but it’s hard to imagine him totally flaming out.”

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