At least one target would require a trade up from their current first-round slot at No. 15 overall, Howe adds.
The consensus top quarterbacks this year are Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson, Alabama's Mac Jones, and North Dakota State's Trey Lance. The Patriots believe, as many do, that Lawrence will be selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
New England's scouting included conversations with college coaches and meetings during Senior Bowl week, according to Howe.
While there are a number of talented prospects in this year's class, it remains to be seen which teams will target them after Jacksonville makes its pick.
The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins currently hold the next two selections. The AFC East clubs could eye a franchise passer, but both are also linked to Deshaun Watson should he be traded from the Houston Texans. The Atlanta Falcons follow, though Matt Ryan is expected to be retained this season.
The Patriots' offense struggled mightily thanks in large part to inconsistencies at quarterback. Cam Newton was signed to a one-year deal last offseason but couldn't make the most of a subpar supporting cast, while Jarrett Stidham showed little promise when called upon.