Patriots' New Franchise QB Arrives in Mel Kiper's First 2024 Mock Draft

Everything is changing in Foxboro. We know who the coach is, but who's going to lead the offense?
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (R) addresses media
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (R) addresses media / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

It's the dawn of a new era for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady is long gone. Bill Belichick is now out the door. Now, new head coach Jerod Mayo is taking over and leading this team on a journey it has not been on for over 2 decades.

That journey will probably start with a search for a new quarterback. The Mac Jones experiment has run its course. It is an unimaginable burden to be the guy to take over for the greatest of all-time, but someone had to be the sacrificial lamb. The tandem of Jones and Bailey Zappe also proved that if you have 2 quarterbacks, you don't even have 1.

Draft season is now upon us, meaning ESPN's Mel Kiper is in his bag and ready to predict the future. The Patriots hold the number 3 pick and will most certainly have quarterback on their minds.

Kiper Predicts Drake Maye Falls to Patriots at 3

In the first rendering of his mock draft (Subscription Required), Kiper has the Chicago Bears taking the obvious choice at the top, USC's Caleb Williams, the Washington Commanders surprisingly taking LSU's Jayden Daniels second overall, and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye landing in the hands of the Patriots third overall.

Maye is widely believed to be the second-best quarterback in this draft. So, him falling to three would be a wonderful break for the Patriots. But this is before trades take place.

Remember, the Bears still have quarterback Justin Fields, and some believe they still believe he is their guy. Should they want to trade out of the top spot for the second year in a row, the Patriots would be a team that would maybe take that leap to go get Williams first overall.

We still have 3 months to go - anything can happen.

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