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Pros and cons of McCarthy, Maye, and Daniels for the Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The debate over who the New England Patriots should select with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft is heating up.

Barring a trade down, the Patriots’ most probable selections are quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels. McCarthy worked his way into the conversation following a report that Pats de facto general manager Eliot Wolf is “pushing hard” for the Michigan QB.

While Daniels is undoubtedly on New England’s radar, ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently said the LSU signal-caller is likely to land in Washington with the No. 2 pick, leaving the Patriots to choose between McCarthy and Maye.

Regardless, three potential franchise QBs are in the mix for Wolf and the new Patriots regime in the 2024 NFL Draft. Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and Albert Breer weighed the pros and cons of each during a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

🔊 Patriots Talk Podcast: Pros and cons of J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels for the Patriots | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Curran started with his positive outlook on McCarthy.

“Accuracy is his first pro. I think he is as accurate as anybody you’ll find in the draft,” Curran said of the 2024 national champion. “Secondarily, fundamentals. I think his base, his throwing angles, all of it. The way he works under center, the way he drops back, the way his feet work, that’s his second one.

“And then I’m going to do a hybrid here so I can sneak in another pro. His escape ability/leadership skills. I think he’s got toughness, agility … I think he is the most athletic and I think he’s got a very high floor.”

While noting McCarthy’s cons, Perry expressed concerns with the Wolverines signal-caller’s off-platform passes and his throwing speed.

“I think while his arm is good enough, I do think where he has trouble with his arm is when he is forced to be off-platform, off balance,” Perry said. … And so in the NFL, when you’re going to have people around you and it’s not going to be a perfect platform every time, can you have as much zip as you need to have in as much zip as you often had behind arguably the best offensive line in college football?” …

“He’s sort of a one-speed thrower. And so when everything’s a fastball, it can lead to some wayward shots down the field. It can lead to some wayward shots when you’re trying to kind of make those layered throws over the linebacker, in front of the safety, that require a certain kind of touch. If everything’s a fastball, I think that could make it hard for him at the next level.”

Perry, who labeled Maye as the best QB prospect in the draft, believes the UNC star could be a top-five QB in the NFL.

“The number one for me is the stuff that you can see: the size, the arm strength, and the athleticism,” Perry said while naming Maye’s pros. “When you combine all that stuff together, it’s the best of any of the three quarterbacks that we’ll talk about here today. And it gives him, in my opinion, top-five quarterback in the NFL kind of upside. I think he’s that physically gifted.

“My second pro for him is what I would call playmaking ability or creativity. Put whatever label you want on it. But the ability to perform and excel out of structure is excellent with him. For me, it’s the best of any of the three quarterbacks we’ll talk about here today. Guys are on him, scramble drill situations, off-balance situations, muddy pockets. There’s nobody who’s better equipped to handle that stuff at the next level than Drake Maye among the three guys we’re talking about here.”

Curran believes Maye has a low floor that makes him a risky pick at No. 3.

“The biggest draw to Drake Maye is he’s 6-foot-5, 230 and he wows you physically and with his arm strength. But when you start to drill down on accuracy in decision-making, it’s not there,” Curran said. “And a lot is attributed to situation or things you can clean up. So to me, it’s more of a projection with him actually than with anybody else. So that is a negative to me.

“You can presume it’s going to get better, but when you draft that highly, the floor I think — especially if you’re an awful team — kind of needs to be higher or you’re just going to be back in the same position in three years because all those things didn’t go the way you hoped.”

For Curran, Perry, and Breer’s pros and cons of all three QBs, listen to the Patriots Talk Podcast episode or watch it on YouTube.

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