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4 scenarios could make Patriots pass on drafting QB with No. 3 pick

After a 4-13 finish to the 2023 season, the New England Patriots are selecting third overall in the 2024 NFL draft.

Most are expecting them to take a quarterback with the pick, but they could just as easily go in an entirely different direction. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that they are not a good football team. The defense was in the top-10 in the NFL, but it’s an offensive-centric league now.

With an offense that has been near the bottom in the last few seasons, they need a hard reset.

The Patriots recently named Alex Van Pelt as their offensive coordinator. Van Pelt has virtually a blank canvas to come in and shape his offense. With no roster commitments in terms of draft capital used in recent years, or bad contracts, the Patriots could theoretically wipe the slate clean.

I do not think that will be the case, but the option will be there for them do so if they see fit. Let’s take a look at some scenarios that could keep the Patriots from taking a quarterback with the No.3 pick.

Alex Van Pelt and Jerod Mayo feel they can revive Mac Jones

Sam Hodde/Getty Images
Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Don’t shoot the messenger, but there is one scenario where Mac Jones remains the Patriots’ starter. That’s if Van Pelt feels he can revamp the once promising rookie

An offensive coordinator with experience coaching quarterbacks of all levels could have an ego and feel he can rebuild with Jones, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal. The decision-makers might not feel enamored with Jayden Daniels, if Drake Maye and Caleb Williams are gone on the draft board.

In this hypothetical scenario, the Patriots use the No. 3 overall pick on Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. after an aggressive offseason to fix the offensive line for the new scheme under Van Pelt. If Jones crashes and burns, the Patriots are still rebuilding, and they can easily move on from him after the year.

This would allow them to take a shot on a quarterback in 2025 with an approved offensive line and an elite stud wideout.

Baker Mayfield signs long-term deal

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Baker Mayfield is a free agent with some familiarity with Van Pelt from their time together with the Cleveland Browns. If Mayfield wants to start fresh with his old offensive coordinator and cash in after a career-year, New England might make sense as the place for him to do so.

In this scenario, the Patriots would take Marvin Harrison at No.3 and form a trade for Browns offensive tackle and former first-round draft pick Jedrick Wills Jr.

Wills Jr. has experience speaking the offense Van Pelt could be looking to run and help translate it to the returning Patriots’ offensive lineman. He is also only 25 years old, and his arrival would give the franchise their left tackle, while allowing them to attack the right tackle position with their second-round draft pick.

This scenario is a way for the team to fix the short-term issues but also set themselves up for sustained success with a 29-year-old Mayfield under center.

Patriots are not sold on Jayden Daniels or other QBs still on the board

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If the Patriots do not love Mac Jones, as well as the other rookie options outside of Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, there is a real chance they take Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 3 overall.

However, in this scenario, they make the decision to trade back to No. 8 on the draft board with the Atlanta Falcons to add assets. The Falcons trade up and select Jayden Daniels at No. 3, and the Patriots come away with the ammo necessary to target other positions of need, while ultimately waiting until later in the draft or next year to get their quarterback of the future.

At No. 8 in this scenario, they wind up taking the tackle who could ultimately fit into Van Pelt’s system better than anyone, and that is Penn State’s Olu Fashanu.

Fashanu is a pure athlete with good technique. He reminds me of Penei Sewell in some parts, and he could be an excellent fit for the rebuild by giving the Patriots a true franchise tackle. Simply put, the team needs talent and cannot afford reaching on a quarterback just because it’s the “fun pick.”

Long-term rebuild with clear vision

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Lastly, there is a chance the Patriots don’t address any of their major needs in free agency and instead plan to build through the draft.

This plan involves potentially reaching on offensive tackles Joe Alt or Olu Fashanu at No. 3 and building through the trenches, despite having Marvin Harrison Jr. right in front of them.

This scenario probably involves a bridge quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, Bailey Zappe and someone like Spencer Rattler in the mid rounds. It would also be a repeat of a terrible offensive season with a focus on developing young players, while taking shots each year to build slowly through the draft.

This method would heavily emphasize scheme and personality fits for the Patriots’ new vision under Jerod Mayo.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire