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Report: Pats to keep No. 3, draft quarterback

New England Patriots Jerod Mayo - The Canadian Press

Don't look for the New England Patriots to move their third overall selection in April's 2024 NFL Draft.

The Athletic's Jeff Howe reports the team intends to use that pick to draft a franchise quarterback as the Jerod Mayo era gets underway.

The logic in the decision, Howe notes, stems from the belief that the gulf between the three top quarterbacks available - USC's Caleb Williams, Drake Maye of North Carolina and LSU's Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels - and the rest of those on offer is a large one and the crop of free-agent QBs - including Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield - is unappealing based on cost.

With the Washington Commanders drafting at No. 2 and also expected to take a QB, who the Pats will select with the third pick remains unknown. Williams is widely expected to be the first overall selection.

The drafting of a quarterback will likely spell the end of the Mac Jones's time with the team. Jones, 25, was taken with the 15th overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Alabama. After starting all 17 games in his rookie season, Jones's inconsistent play led to multiple benchings over the past two seasons.

In 11 games in 2023, Jones threw for 2,120 yards on 224-for-345 passing with 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Patriots have not drafted in the top five since they took defensive end Willie McGinest with the fourth overall selection of the 1994 NFL Draft out of USC.