2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Patriots first-round pick predictions originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Many people expect the New England Patriots to select a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. And it makes sense, too, considering there are three top-tier QB prospects in this draft class -- USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels.
But what about taking a wide receiver at No. 3?
Marvin Harrison Jr. from Ohio State is considered one of the best wideout prospects this century. He posted back-to-back seasons of at least 67 receptions, 1,200 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns for the Buckeyes. And unlike some of the other top wide receivers in the 2024 class, Harrison put up great stats this past season without an elite quarterback throwing him the ball.
The Patriots haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Julian Edelman in 2019. They haven't had a traditional No. 1 wideout since Randy Moss. New England's lack of high-end talent at the skill positions was glaring in 2023. They didn't have anyone who could consistently get open and make huge plays.
Taking a wide receiver in Round 1 wouldn't preclude the Patriots from taking a QB later in the draft. They also could sign a veteran QB in free agency -- maybe someone like Kirk Cousins. A Cousins-Harrison QB/WR tandem would be a massive upgrade for the Patriots offense.
A potential choice between Daniels or Harrison would be pretty interesting for the Patriots, assuming one of them is still available at No. 3. It would be easy to take the quarterback, but there's probably a better chance of Harrison becoming an elite player.
Which players should the Patriots target with the No. 3 pick? Here's a roundup of expert predictions from recent mock drafts.
Connor Rogers, NBC Sports: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Jordan Reid, ESPN: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Luke Easterling, Sports Illustrated: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: Marvin Harrison, WR, Ohio State
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Tankathon: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
Walter Football: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU