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It's All Hearteyes Between the Patriots and Every Top QB Prospect at the Combine

Kevin Sabitus. Getty Images.

The cocktail lounge that is the NFL Combine held its first Speed Dating event today. And the only single I'm concerned about was there to mingle. 

Like I mentioned the other day, the Patriots are in Indy with one main goal in mind. Not just to find a Mr. Right, but a Mr. Right Quarterback:

And if the reports about how the meetings went are any indication, they brought their A-game:

Source - Multiple members of the Patriots staff have told the Herald that they view all three top quarterback prospects, USC’s Caleb Williams, UNC’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels, as worthy of a top-three selection. Williams is still widely regarded as the top QB in the draft, but evaluators on staff who spoke to the Herald would be happy if any of the three quarterbacks were available with their No. 3 overall pick. …

The Patriots held formal interviews with all three players plus Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and Oregon’s Bo Nix. …

One source told the Herald that Maye, who’s most likely to go No. 2 or 3 overall in the draft, made a strong impression on the team in his formal interview with the team. 

The feeling was mutual.

“Yeah, I was really impressed with them,” Maye said. “Being in there, New England is obviously a great sports town. And the meeting with them, I thought it went well. New England is a great spot.”

The UNC passer … said he congratulated head coach Jerod Mayo on his promotion during his meeting with the Patriots. …

“The Patriots were cool,” Williams said. “The room wasn’t as packed. They had just a few guys here. And we talked mainly about ball. It was a good impression. They were asking me questions about my life, about ball and testing me and things like that. So all of the meetings were good.” …

Maye, Williams and Daniels were all too young to experience the Patriots’ first dynasty, but the team’s reputation as a winner still carries with the young quarterbacks.

“It would be dope. Obviously, growing up and seeing what Tom Brady did there, six Super Bowls,” Daniels said. “That’s tough to live up to, but it would be dope to see the success they had and help them get back on that track.”

McCarthy also has fans within the organization but not with the third overall pick. He called his interview with the Patriots “amazing.”

“Coach Mayo, awesome guy, asked some really great questions,” McCarthy said. “You can definitely tell he’s been around this process for along time and been a part of it. Great interactions and it would be an honor to be a part of their organization.”

Now let's just sit and bask in the warm glowing, glowing warmth of all the good vibery going on here. Because this is all a crucial part of the mating ritual. This elaborate dance is necessary now. Eliot Wolf has to release the right pheromones. Jerod Mayo needs to give off the right musk. The Patriots as a whole have to display their colorful tail feathers and present in order to attract the right mate so this organization can give birth to postseason wins again. 

I appreciate these prospects saying nice things about the Dynasty and all that. (And I'm not going to take Maye literally when he calls New England a great sports "town." We know what he meant.) But the days are long since past that the Old Bull of the herd can simply show up, show his rings in a display of power, and attract anyone he chooses. That dynamic no longer exists here. Now it's about making that emotional connection. 

And evidently, Mayo is good at turning on the charm. Just positive interpersonal relations all around:

Just to be fair, I'll point out that the Doug Kyed piece I quoted also points out that there are some people in the Pats organization saying it's not etched in stone that their committed to drafting a QB at No. 3. Now that we've acknowledged that, we can disregard it and say they're most definitely going to take a QB at No. 3. Got it? Good. 

Personally, I'm remain on Team Daniels. Perhaps owing to the fact he's generally considered the third best of the group and is therefore most likely to be available. But more so to the fact he had one of the great seasons in CFB history and has a ton of experience. Now add in that report that Belichick loves him, I'm all in. But I can be persuaded on Williams or Maye. There's a lot of evaluation still ahead of us. My major point in all this is that, when it comes to these top prospects who'll shape the future of your organization for the next decade or more, you have to sell yourself to them as much they have to sell themselves to you. And that begins with these sitdowns. And since it's been a while since we've seen much in the way of positivity in the great sports town of New England, I'll take this news and be happy about it.