The New England Patriots hold the number three pick in April’s NFL draft. To NFL fans all around, this is unchartered territory for the Patriots, who have dominated the NFL for the last two decades. However, this is a new Patriots regime.

Gone are the likes of Tom Brady, his excellent supporting cast, and legendary head coach Bill Belichick. This is a new era in New England, and it will involve a ton of growing pains. We witnessed those growing pains firsthand in their horrendous 2023 season, which landed them the number three pick.

Jerod Mayo
Newly appointed head coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots speaks to the media during a press conference at Gillette Stadium on January 17, 2024, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Mayo will replace legendary head coach…

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Undoubtedly, the Patriots need a quarterback, as they traded away their former first-round pick Mac Jones this offseason. This quarterback class is loaded with talent, and it seems like the obvious choice for New England, right? Well, not if you ask their new head coach, Jerod Mayo.

Mayo spoke to the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche at the Annual League Meeting and said while a quarterback is a ‘top priority right now,’ it’s not a foregone conclusion that the Patriots could go a different direction.

“It’s the priority right now,” Mayo said. “But with that being said, you have to really be in love with the guy to take him at No. 3. So really all the options are still open for us.”

The Patriots could use all the help they could get. While drafting a quarterback would be the right move, they can’t go wrong with an elite wide receiver or offensive tackle. This year’s draft class is loaded with those two positions, and the Patriots may lean toward that direction.

DraftKings Sportsbook still has New England taking a quarterback, specifically North Carolina’s quarterback Drake May, with the best odds at -135. Rounding off the top three is LSU quarterback and 2023 Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels at +170 and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at +425.

The Patriots have not had a stable quarterback since losing Brady in the 2020 offseason. Since then, they’ve gone from Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer, Mac Jones, and Bailey Zappe. Neither of these quarterbacks has worked out, and now they have a golden opportunity to find their quarterback of the future. The Patriots have a veteran quarterback on their roster, Jacoby Brissett, who they signed back this offseason.

These comments by Mayo could be all smoke to keep other teams on their toes, or they could go in a different direction than the obvious choice. New England has eight draft picks in 2024, but the focus will be on that number three pick.