Choose Your Patriots QB: Is Jayden Daniels the no-brainer solution? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Editor's Note: The New England Patriots have a franchise-altering decision to make at quarterback this offseason. Throughout the week, we'll highlight five different paths the Patriots can take at QB in 2024, laying out the pros and cons of each choice.
Our first scenario involves New England taking LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Let's not overthink this.
The Patriots desperately need a new quarterback after going 4-13 in 2023 with the combination of Mac Jones (2-9 as a starter) and Bailey Zappe (2-4). Fortunately for new head coach Jerod Mayo, the Patriots have a QB lottery ticket in the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
USC star Caleb Williams is expected to go No. 1 overall, which would guarantee New England the opportunity to take either North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye or LSU QB Jayden Daniels at No. 3. While the Washington Commanders' plans at No. 2 remain unclear, Maye has been the higher-rated QB on many draft boards to this point.
If Washington does draft Maye, should the Patriots follow by picking Daniels? Or should they use the No. 3 pick to draft uber-talented Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., or trade the pick to acquire a potentially massive haul of additional draft capital?
Let's list out some of the pros and cons of the Patriots drafting Daniels, as spotlighted in the video player above:
Cons of drafting Jayden Daniels
Age: At 23 years old, Daniels is older than both Williams (22) and Maye, which slightly limits his upside.
Frame: Daniels was listed at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds as a freshman at Arizona State. He's since bulked up to 210 pounds, according to LSU's website, but he's still relatively skinny for a QB of his height, which raises durability concerns.
Inexperience in cold weather: Coming from Arizona State and LSU, Daniels has very little experience playing in frigid temperatures and adverse weather, which he'd plenty late in the season in New England.
Pros of drafting Jayden Daniels
Resume: Daniels won the Heisman Trophy in 2023 as the best quarterback in college football, throwing 40 touchdown passes to just four interceptions while outplaying both Williams and Maye.
Dynamic athlete: Daniels is a true dual-threat QB who racked up 1,134 rushing yards and 10 rushing scores in 2023. He's drawn early comparisons to Lamar Jackson and could be the game-changer the Patriots need to revamp their offense.
More cap space: Addressing the QB position via the draft would allow the Patriots to spend more free agency dollars on premium positions like wide receiver and offensive tackle, instead of paying up for a higher-priced QB in free agency.
What's your take?
Should the Patriots draft Daniels at No. 3 or choose from one of four other QB paths? Cast your vote in the poll below or by visiting our Patriots Vote page:
There's a reason why many mock drafts have the Patriots selecting Daniels.
Imagine a world in which New England signs a top free-agent wide receiver like Tee Higgins, adds a steady backup QB like Jacoby Brissett, takes Daniels at No. 3 overall and uses the No. 34 pick on a starting-caliber offensive lineman.
That's a very realistic and very enticing scenario that would represent a significant upgrade at the team's three most important positions. Super Bowl LVIII was proof that superior quarterback talent often wins out, so the Patriots shouldn't pass up this opportunity to take a potential franchise player.