For fans of the New England Patriots, this April's NFL Draft is the most highly anticipated in recent history. New England hasn't had a top-10 pick since 2008 when they selected now-head coach Jerod Mayo.
New England's priorities this offseason are clearly on offense, where they ranked among the league's worst in points per game (tied for last), yards per game (30th), and passing yards per game (28th).
The Patriots' 2024 draft will look to right some of Bill Belichick's wrongs, including fixing a lack of explosiveness and play-making ability.
With that in mind, here are the players (for all seven rounds) that could hear their name called by the Patriots in Detroit in only two short months.
1. First Round (3rd Overall): Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
For the first time since 1993, the New England Patriots will draft within the top three. Just like in 1993 when they selected Drew Bledsoe, New England should use their selection on their next franchise quarterback, Jayden Daniels.
Daniels, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, broke out in 2023 as an electrifying dual threat. Through the air, Daniels completed 72.2 percent of passes for 3,812 yards and 40 scores, while only throwing four interceptions.
On the ground, he carried the ball 138 times for 1,134 times and 10 touchdowns, averaging 8.4 yards per rush. It is also worth noting that sacks count against quarterback rushing yards in college, which makes his numbers even more staggering. Don't mistake Daniels' 2023 season as a flash in the pan, his 2022 numbers are solid too and he even impressed as a true freshman in 2019 at Arizona State.
He is incredibly responsible with the football, only throwing 20 picks on1,438 passing attempts in his career. He throws a great deep ball and is a premium passer at the second and third levels, but he needs to hone his short game, as his average velocity can prevent him at times from fitting the ball into tight windows. His athleticism and ability to run shouldn't mislead the fans either. Out of his 40 touchdown throws, he threw 35 of those touchdowns from the pocket.
The general consensus is that Daniels will have to learn how to protect himself better, as he takes too many unwarranted shots, and his slimmer frame isn't built for that contact either. Daniels checks in at 6'4", 210 pounds.
Mac Jones is reportedly New England, and Bailey Zappe is surely not an NFL-caliber starting quarterback. Daniels is the third-ranked quarterback, with Caleb Williams and Drake Maye expected to be selected at first and second overall, respectively.
Daniels' athleticism is exciting from a fan's perspective, especially for a franchise that has had pocket passers under center for so many years.