2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Post-combine predictions for Patriots

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Post-combine predictions for Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The NFL Scouting Combine took place in Indianapolis last week, and even though the top three quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft class -- Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels -- didn't participate in any throwing drills, there was still plenty to take away from the week.

For example, Maye impressed in his interview with the Patriots, according to NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry.

"It's worth pointing out that the Patriots felt as though it was North Carolina's Drake Maye who conducted the most impressive quarterback meeting of the week, thanks to the energy and intelligence he displayed in his 20-minute back-and-forth with New England brass," Perry wrote.

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Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Scouting Combine was Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy's draft stock going way up. He's now the No. 4 quarterback on most draft rankings, and he's projected to land as high as the No. 3 pick in several new mock drafts this week. A lot of mock drafts have him coming off the board in the top 10.

"League evaluators have been impressed by the way in which Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy has interviewed, and some believe he's the most likely to be the fourth quarterback taken in April," Perry wrote last week.

McCarthy didn't throw a ton at Michigan last season because the Wolverines had such an effective rushing attack led by running back Blake Corum. And there wasn't much incentive to change course as Michigan kept winning and ultimately claimed a national title. But McCarthy did complete 72.3 percent of his passes and threw just four interceptions. He's an accurate passer, and he didn't have the downfield weapons at wide receiver that Jayden Daniels did at LSU.

Daniels is still a better overall prospect, but it wouldn't be surprising if McCarthy turns out to be a good player at the next level. McCarthy does have the intangibles that scouts like, such as leadership and the ability to perform at a high level under pressure. He played quite well in the College Football Playoff when the Wolverines defeated Alabama and Washington for the national title.

Which players might the Patriots target in Round 1? Does it make sense to select a non-QB with the No. 3 overall pick? Here's a roundup of predictions from recent expert mock drafts.

Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Jordan Reid, ESPN: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (Round 1), Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona (Round 2)

Dane Brugler, The Athletic: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame (Projected trade: Falcons send No. 8, No. 43 and a 2025 first-round pick to the Patriots for No. 3)

Lance Zierlein, NFL Network: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Doug Kyed, Boston Herald: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Nate Tice, Yahoo! Sports: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Danny Kelly, The Ringer: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Bleacher Report NFL Scouting Department: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Joseph Acosta, SB Nation: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU