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The New England Patriots will be deep in the weeds of the quarterback market this offseason as part of this new post-Bill Belichick world that is spinning in Foxborough. The Patriots are set to move on from their Week 1 starter from this past season in Mac Jones, as they are reportedly fielding calls from other teams who may be interested in the former first-round pick.

Not only that, but many around the NFL believe the Patriots are leaning heavily toward selecting a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, per The Athletic. Lucky for the Pats, as they embark on this era, they have plenty of avenues. On top of possessing the No. 3 overall pick, they also have the third-highest amount of salary cap space (roughly $75 million) to address the position in free agency or trade if they so choose.

After speaking with the top quarterback prospects at the NFL Combine, the Patriots brass considers Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels all worthy of being a top-three selection, according to the Boston Herald.

The team apparently likes what it sees in the draft's best options. Who are some of the other quarterbacks the Patriots could be looking to pounce on? Let's dive in and highlight a handful of options while ranking who New England should prioritize.

5. Gardner Minshew

You may have expected this list to be filled with young draft prospects. While we could fill it with all the signal-callers set to enter the NFL Draft this spring, there is a world where the Patriots decide to address a different position of need and go a different route at QB. On top of quarterback, wide receiver and offensive tackle are two massive needs for New England, so it could opt to take either wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. or tackle Joe Alt at No. 3 in the upcoming draft. Under this hypothetical where the Patriots emphasize building out the overall roster and not forcing the issue at quarterback, Gardner Minshew wouldn't be a bad bridge option. 

Gardner Minshew
LV • QB • #10
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The NFL journeyman has been serviceable whenever his number has been called throughout his career, including this past season in Indy. After first-rounder Anthony Richardson went down for the season with a shoulder injury, Minshew came in, went 7-6 as the starter and had the Colts in playoff contention down the stretch. He'd give the Patriots solid veteran play under center, while they take a more long-term approach with this rebuild. Minshew would also be a solid option as the 2024 starter if the Patriots take a quarterback on Day 2 of the draft and want him to sit for an extended period.

4. Michael Penix Jr.

We'll begin to dip our toe into the quarterback prospects with Washington's Michael Penix Jr., who is one of the more polarizing players in this draft. Penix led Washington to a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance this year and has been one of the more productive passers in the nation, but his stock doesn't seem as clear-cut as others in this class. Early mocks have him going in the middle of the first round to possibly a Day 2 prospect. 

If New England trades down from No. 3 to collect more draft capital, Penix becomes an ideal target with the array of assets it will likely receive in a deal. Even if the Pats decide to keep No. 3 and draft another position of need (Marvin Harrison Jr.?), it'd also be a savvy move to scoop Penix up later in the draft. 

CBS Sports' Josh Edwards has Penix falling out of the first round in his latest mock draft, so he could be an option for the Patriots, who own the second pick in Round 2 this year. Or they could use that top Day 2 pick to trade up into the back end of the first round to get Penix and ensure they'd have the fifth-year option available to them. 

3. Justin Fields

The Chicago Bears are in a fascinating spot. In theory, they could trade the No. 1 overall pick for the second straight year and keep Justin Fields, but all signs likely point to them keeping the pick this time around and drafting USC star Caleb Williams. That turn of events then leads to Fields becoming expendable, and a possible option for the Patriots.

Justin Fields
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Fields has struggled as a pure passer since entering the NFL in 2021, but oozes elite talent, particularly with his mobility. He's also still quite young in his development and will be only 25 years old at the start of next season. The talent is there for teams to likely be interested in bringing him aboard and seeing if they can make him a more polished product. For New England, it'll come down to price. Certainly, the No. 3 pick is out of the question, but would a high Day 2 pick be a palatable price tag for New England to pursue him? Fields sort of falls into the Penix category of the Patriots landing a quarterback with high upside while using No. 3 pick for another position of need.

2. Drake Maye

Now let's dive into options the Patriots could target with the third overall pick. There does seem to be some flip-flopping with the two quarterbacks after Caleb Williams. Maye has prototypical size for the position at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, and boasts a strong arm on top of mobility with his legs. 

He's drawn comparisons to Justin Herbert with the Chargers, which would be a home run if he were able to live up to that with the Patriots. From a pure talent standpoint, he's certainly a worthwhile player to use the No. 3 overall pick on. One of the big questions for him, however, will be how he deals with NFL competition after playing in the ACC for the last few years. 

1. Jayden Daniels

Daniels may not even be available to the Patriots if the Commanders decide to take him at No. 2 overall. If he is, however, he's the type of electrifying talent this franchise has sorely lacked for the past few years. The Heisman Trophy winner lit it up for LSU this season, and CBS Sports NFL Draft insider Ryan Wilson has noted in previous mock drafts that he "reminds me of Lamar Jackson." With New England still lacking playmakers at the skill positions, it will need a quarterback who can create on his own, which Daniels can do with his feet. 

His overall passing game still needs some refining, and he may need to bulk up a bit to absorb the abuse of NFL bodies crashing into him every week, but Daniels is the type of quarterback who has the elite upside of being an MVP-caliber player, which is exactly what you're looking for this high in the draft.