The odds currently aren’t on the Patriots’ side when it comes to USC’s Caleb Williams or UNC’s Drake Maye falling to them with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Of course, New England could still pick up another intriguing QB prospect in LSU product and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels.
But if you ask former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, New England can’t take any risks with such a coveted draft pick. As such, the future Hall-of-Famer thinks the Patriots should opt for the player with the highest floor in this draft class in Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
“I think if they don’t go with a quarterback — if Drake Maye or Caleb Williams is already taken off the board — I think a for-sure pick, a for-sure lock that won’t be a bust, that’s going to do big things right from the beginning is Marvin Harrison Jr. at the wide receiver position,” Gronkowski said while promoting his upcoming “Kick of Destiny 2” Super Bowl commercial.
Gronkowski is far from the only ex-Patriot to tab Harrison Jr. as New England’s ideal pick at No. 3 overall. Last month, both James White and Ty Law said that Harrison Jr. gives New England a dynamic playmaker.
“If he’s still there, I’m getting Marvin Harrison Jr.,” Law said on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” in January. “Everybody says quarterback. I’m telling you, you might be able to go out there and find a Dak Prescott [selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.]
“I’m gonna leave Tom Brady off the table because that’s a unicorn, (pick) 199, but if you go out there and get a serviceable quarterback that won’t turn the ball over and you get Marvin Harrison Jr., he’s gonna help whatever quarterback you have. I promise you that. That’s one of those picks that would be hard to pass up.”
A franchise QB might offer the quickest route for New England to climb back up the standings. But Harrison Jr. might be the best WR prospect to come out of the collegiate ranks in years.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver torched defenses throughout his time with the Buckeyes — reeling in 144 catches for 2,474 yards and 29 touchdowns in his last two seasons.
Gronkowski, who noted that Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh stressed the need for “explosive players” during last year’s draft, said that Harrison Jr. fits that label.
“So if you want those players, take Marvin Harrison Jr. He’s an explosive player,” Gronkowski said. “And his dad went to Syracuse, and I was a Syracuse fan growing up so that’s a connection right there.”
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