Patriots reportedly have fans of both Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy in the building

Speculation on who the New England Patriots are going to draft third overall is almost over.

The NFL draft kicks off Thursday, and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer indicated that both North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy had their fans in the Patriots’ building.

Maye has been connected to the Patriots throughout the entire pre-draft process. From visits to pre-draft interviews, Maye is projected to be one of the first quarterbacks taken off the board.

McCarthy is coming off a national championship with the Michigan Wolverines. Last season, he tallied 2,991 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and four interceptions. He captained a Michigan team to a victory over Washington in January and has seen his stock rise over the past couple of months.

Breer wrote:

Both Maye and McCarthy have their fans in the Patriots’ building. And if it’s down to those two, my guess at this point is the team sticks at three and takes Maye. In any case, my money is that Maye goes third (with the Giants and Vikings possible trade partners for New England if the Patriots decide to move).

Maye could make more sense for New England with McCarthy being projected as the fourth-best quarterback on the board.

Either way, the Patriots need to make sure they hit on the quarterback position. Failure to do so could prolong the rebuild and make things even more difficult for new coach Jerod Mayo.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire