Why insider believes it isn’t a ‘lock’ Patriots take QB with third pick

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Patriots Why an NFL insider believes that it isn’t a ‘lock’ Patriots take a QB with third pick in 2024 NFL Draft “It wouldn’t be that far-fetched to use [the Texans] blueprint.” Jayden Daniels has been rumored to be the Patriots’ possible selection with the third overall pick. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
With the 2024 NFL Draft less than a month away, there’s been a growing expectation that the Patriots will take a quarterback with the third overall pick.
However, one NFL insider believes it’s not a certainty that the Patriots wind up standing pat at No. 3 to select a quarterback. The Athletic’s Dianna Russini believes that there’s a case to be made that the Patriots could wait to pursue their quarterback of the future.
“I don’t believe them to be a lock to take a quarterback,” Russini said on FS1’s “The Herd” on Friday. “You can go both ways with this. Are they going to go the avenue of that slow rebuild and use another free agency to continue to build? Maybe trade out of that spot to collect more picks? It would basically mirror what the Houston Texans have been doing for the last few seasons in having that New England mindset. It wouldn’t be that far-fetched to use that same blueprint.”
There’s a notable connection between the Texans and the Patriots. Houston has been run by former Patriots executive Nick Caserio since 2021, overseeing a rebuild that led to the Texans winning the AFC South in 2023.
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But the process for the Texans to get there was relatively slow. They didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2021 draft and they opted to bypass selecting a quarterback with the third overall pick in the 2022 draft after going 4-13 the year prior.
The Texans stockpiled draft picks as well in the first two offseasons of Caserio’s tenure, notably obtaining three first-round picks from the Browns for Deshaun Watson. They finally made their move to get their quarterback of the future in the 2023 draft, selecting C.J. Stroud with the second overall pick before trading up to the third overall pick to select Will Anderson.
Of course, Caserio is not in New England anymore, but it isn’t unreasonable to think the Patriots might want to follow a similar rebuild model. Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly viewed Caserio as a dream candidate to replace Bill Belichick in football operations, potentially a sign that he was a fan of how he rebuilt the Texans.
Eliot Wolf will ultimately get to make that call for the Patriots though as the director of scouting is the team’s chief roster decision-maker this offseason. Despite holding over $100 million in cap space at the start of free agency, the Patriots failed to make a major outside signing as they were only heavily linked to one of the top free agents.
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But that approach could also suggest that the Patriots are slow-playing their rebuild, similar to the Texans, as they wait to make aggressive moves.
“They’re just not ready now,” Russini said of the Patriots’ offensive personnel. “That’s why they had a hard time really pulling in top receivers during free agency.”
Trading down could help the Patriots get extra draft capital to address their other big needs on offense, especially if they acquire two first-round picks in this year’s draft from the quarterback-needy Vikings. Minnesota holds the 11th and 23rd overall picks in this year’s draft, which is considered to be a good draft class for offensive tackle and wide receiver prospects.
But this year’s draft is also considered to be a strong quarterback class as well, with four quarterbacks being speculated as possible top-five picks. The opportunity to nab one might be too strong for the Patriots to pass up on as Jacoby Brissett and Bailey Zappe are their top two quarterbacks.
“The idea of them wanting to go get a quarterback and believing that that’s going to turn them around is certainly there,” Russini said.

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