NFL Mock Draft: Insider projects Patriots trading up for surprising QB

The New England Patriots are going to take a quarterback in the first round, but maybe not where you think. This NFL Draft insider has them trading back into the first round to get their new guy.

Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Do you trust the New England Patriots to do the right thing in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft -- because I don't. They have the No. 3 overall pick in a great quarterback draft with three blue-chip signal-callers. If the stayed put at No. 3, the Patriots would be guaranteed to have either Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye or Caleb Williams suit up for them next season as their new franchise quarterback of sorts.

However, Lance Zierlein has the Patriots doing something totally different in his latest NFL mock draft for With Williams and Daniels going one-two to the Chicago Bears and the Washington Commanders respectively, he has New England taking the best non-quarterback in the draft in Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. No. 3 overall. I love the pick, but what about the quarterback?

Well, Zierlein has the Patriots covered. Near the end of the first round, he has New England moving back into the first round in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens for the No. 30 pick. Going to the Patriots with that draft selection is former Oregon and Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. He is the fifth and final quarterback coming off the board in the first round. Nix just so happens to be my QB5 for this draft.

No matter what you think about Mac Jones or his new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, the thought of pairing Harrison and Nix together in New England is intriguing and impossible to ignore.

NFL insider has New England Patriots trading up to draft Bo Nix

Look. Bo Nix is not for everyone, and I totally understand that. He may have played for Auburn, where you can drives trucks and do something else, but even I have grown to appreciate him for what he is as an NFL Draft prospect. He's fine, but I don't think you're going to win a Super Bowl with him under center. He is mentally tough and should interview well. However, he needs to go to the right team.

While I have said that he has the highest floor of any of the six quarterbacks who could go in the first round, he probably has the lowest ceiling, too. He could be the next Derek Carr. I said the same thing a year ago when it came to C.J. Stroud, but Stroud has proven to be much better of a prospect than Carr and certainly his older brother David was at the professional level. Nix is going to be just fine.

I think the idea of pairing him with Harrison on the New England offense could work, especially with Van Pelt coming over from Cleveland to call plays. However, the Mac Jones component scares me. I had similar feelings about him coming out of Alabama in 2021. He did have a great first season with the Patriots before Bill Belichick tried his damnedest to ruin him out of spite. New England was toxic...

Overall, this feels like a far better version of what the Pittsburgh Steelers have in Kenny Pickett and George Pickens with Arthur Smith calling plays. Unfortunately, this is not going to be good enough to overtake some of the better teams in the AFC in the coming years. The Patriots have to draft considerably better under Jerod Mayo than they ever did under Belichick. Take this stuff seriously...

Where you land matters, but Nix and Harrison uniting in Foxborough is not a terrible idea to me.

Next. NFL Draft: Best first-round draft pick in each slot in history. Best first-round draft pick in each NFL Draft slot in history. dark