Exploring three hypothetical trades for Patriots with No. 3 pick

Exploring three hypothetical trades for Patriots with No. 3 pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Keep the pick and select your potential quarterback of the future, or trade down to acquire a treasure trove of assets?

That's the (multi) million-dollar question facing the New England Patriots in the leadup to the 2024 NFL Draft. With the No. 3 pick, the Patriots are guaranteed the opportunity to pick one of USC's Caleb Williams, UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels, any of whom would address their biggest roster need and possibly be the long-term solution at QB.

But New England has a host of other needs to address -- notably at offensive line and wide receiver -- and trading down would give the team an influx of resources to build out a more balanced roster.

So, what resources are we talking about, exactly?

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Former NFL scout and NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah laid out two intriguing hypotheticals in a conference call Thursday, projecting what it might take for the Minnesota Vikings (No. 11 overall) and Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13) to move up to No. 3 in a trade with the Patriots.

Let's evaluate Jeremiah's hypotheticals, as well as a third trade with the Atlanta Falcons that our Patriots Insider Phil Perry posited in a recent 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

Patriots trade with Vikings

Vikings receive: No. 3 pick

Patriots receive: No. 11 pick, Vikings' 2025 first-round pick, Vikings' 2026 first-round pick

This would be quite the haul for New England. It's hard to imagine Minnesota making the playoffs in Year 1 with Maye or Daniels after going 7-10 with Kirk Cousins, so that 2025 first-rounder could be a top-15 (or potentially top-10) pick. This deal also would give the Patriots four first-round picks over the next two drafts -- assuming they keep their own -- which could help turbocharge their rebuild.

Of course, this would mean New England doesn't land Maye or Daniels, requiring Jerod Mayo and Co. to find their QB in free agency (Baker Mayfield or Kirk Cousins, anyone?) or perhaps pursue a trade for Justin Fields.

One other factor to consider: The No. 11 pick might not be high enough for New England to land an elite wide receiver or offensive tackle. Most mock drafts have the wideout trio of Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers as well as the OT duo of Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu going off the board within the first 10 picks.

Patriots trade with Raiders

Raiders receive: No. 3 pick

Patriots receive: No. 13 pick, Raiders' 2025 first-round pick, Raiders' 2025 third-round pick, Raiders' 2026 first-round pick

In this scenario, Las Vegas' 2025 third-rounder is thrown in to account for the difference between No. 11 and No. 13. The Raiders also finished below .500 last season (8-9) and could struggle again with a rookie QB, although there's slightly more upside in Las Vegas than Minnesota after new head coach Antonio Pierce helped the team win three of its final four games.

The same factors apply here: The Patriots would need to find their QB via free agency or trade and almost certainly would miss out on a top-tier receiver or offensive lineman. For what it's worth, Jeremiah had Alabama edge defender Dallas Turner being taken at No. 11 and Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold going at No. 13 in his latest mock draft.

Patriots trade with Falcons

Falcons receive: No. 3 pick

Patriots receive: No. 8 pick, No. 43 pick and Falcons' 2025 first-round pick

The Patriots only net one future first-rounder here but get more short-term bang for their buck. In this scenario, Perry has New England trading for Fields, snagging Odunze at No. 8 and packaging its own second-rounder with the No. 43 pick to move up to No. 16 and draft Oklahoma offensive tackle Tyler Guyton.

With Fields, Odunze and Guyton, the Patriots would have three high-upside players at their three most important positions, with the opportunity for another top-10 pick in 2025 if the Falcons struggle with Maye or Daniels.

Check out the video below from NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition to hear Perry react to Jeremiah's hypothetical trade proposals: