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2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Experts analyze Patriots trade scenarios

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Experts analyze Patriots trade scenarios originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots could keep the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and take a quarterback or Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

And it would be hard to fault them for that.

One of the three top-tier quarterbacks in this class — USC’s Caleb Williams, UNC’s Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels — will be available at No. 3, and we all know the Patriots desperately need to upgrade at quarterback. Finding a No. 1 wide receiver should be a priority for New England this offseason, too, and Harrison is considered by many experts to be the prospect with the highest chance of being a success at the pro level.

But what about trading down?

If the Patriots can remain in the top 10 and get a future first-round pick for moving down, that scenario should absolutely be considered. Why is staying in the top 10 important? Well, if you look at most mock drafts, the top three quarterbacks, top-three wideouts (Harrison, Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers) and top-two offensive tackles (Olu Fashanu, Joe Alt) all go in the top 10.

Those three positions are the biggest areas of need for the Patriots. Missing out on all of them would be tough, even if the team nets a future first-round selection for moving down.

A couple popular trade scenarios for the Patriots involve the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 8 pick and the Chicago Bears with the No. 9 pick.

The Falcons are a quarterback upgrade away from being a serious contender in the NFC South. They have plenty of weapons on offense, such as former first-round picks Bijan Robinson and Drake London. Atlanta just needs a quarterback, and unless Raheem Morris’ staff really likes J.J. McCarthy or Bo Nix, it’s unlikely there will be a QB worth taking at No. 8.

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The Bears have the No. 1 and No. 9 picks. If they take Williams first overall, maybe they would consider moving up to No. 3 and taking Harrison or whichever tackle they consider the best on their board. The Bears offense has a lot of weaknesses to address, and they have an impressive war chest of 2024 and future picks to use to trade up.

Which players might interest the Patriots if they do trade down into the No. 8-13 range? Here’s a roundup of recent mock drafts that involve trade scenarios with the Patriots.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: Caleb Williams, QB, USC (trade up to No. 1)

Pat Lane, Pats Pulpit: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State (trade down to No. 13, then back up to No. 9)

The Athletic staff: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State (trade down to No. 8)

Chad Reuter, NFL Network: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State (trade down to No. 9)

Danny Heifetz, The Ringer: Troy Fautanu, Guard, Washington (trade down to No. 13, then down to No. 14)

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (trade down to No. 12)

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