The Patriots' fascinating choice in Mel Kiper's inaugural 2024 NFL Mock Draft

All but four NFL clubs are in the summer, so 2024 NFL Draft prep is started. This class is intriguing, especially for offense-needy clubs.

USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye, and LSU's Jayden Daniels are likely to go in the first round. We might see four or five wide receivers picked in Round 1, led by Ohio State great Marvin Harrison Jr. A few offensive tackles may be picked in the top 10. This is wonderful news for the New England Patriots, who lack quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle talent.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. released his inaugural 2024 NFL Mock Draft, which sees the Patriots picking Maye third overall. As seen in our newest mock draft compilation, many experts believe the Patriots will choose Daniels at No. 3. Most draft analysts think Williams and Maye will be the top two.

Kiper picks Williams first overall to the Chicago Bears and Daniels second to the Washington Commanders.  "It's a total makeover in New England, which will have a new coach and front office structure for the first time since Bill Belichick joined the organization in 2000," Kiper wrote of the Patriots' selection. 

Defense-trained Jerod Mayo inherits a complete offensive catastrophe. At the offensive line, the Patriots were bottom in pass block win rate (43.5%) and second to last in offensive points per game (12.9). Team free agents include linemen Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu and tight ends Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki. What better way to start a new era and probable offensive overhaul than to choose an excellent quarterback first?

Maye struggled in 2023, but he's a 6-foot-4 deep-ball thrower. He manages the football and is dual-threat. He's got great potential. The Patriots shouldn't worry about trading their 2021 first-round quarterback, unlike the Bears. This offseason, Mac Jones' regression makes that easier. New England's primary need is quarterback."

In 12 Tar Heels games this season, Maye completed 63.3 percent of quarterback passes for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Scouts like his 6-foot-4 size, rocket arm, and pocket mobility.

Last season's Patriots offense was lackluster. They equaled the Carolina Panthers for lowest scoring average (13.9). Lack of top-tier wide receivers contributed to it. They didn't have a quarterback who could make accurate deep-downfield throws, which Kiper said above was Maye's strength.

Maye vs. Daniels pre-draft talks will be intriguing. Maye is a superior passer, but Daniels runs better. Daniels faced tougher SEC opposition than Maye in the ACC. Daniels also earned Heisman. However, Kiper's conclusion is sound. The Patriots need a quarterback, so if Maye is available, they should consider him.

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