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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Eliot Wolf – Patriots open to trading No. 3 pick but like QBs, too

SportsEliot Wolf - Patriots open to trading No. 3 pick but like QBs, too

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf said Thursday that the team is “open for business” to trade the No. 3 pick in next week’s 2024 NFL draft but would be comfortable staying put and selecting a quarterback from what he called a “unique” class.

Wolf described trade discussions with other teams as “ongoing” while adding: “We have some holes we feel like we need to fill in the draft. We’re a draft-and-develop team; the more picks we have, the better.”

Wolf, who has final personnel say in his first year of an increased role with the franchise, acknowledged that the Patriots have yet to receive a trade offer that would motivate them to deal the No. 3 pick.

The Patriots enter next week’s draft with eight total selections, headlined by the No. 3 pick and selections at the top of the second (No. 34) and third (68) rounds. They have single picks in Rounds 4, 5 and 7 and two picks in Round 6.

Wolf, first-year head coach Jerod Mayo and the Patriots’ staff have spent considerable time scouting quarterbacks, attending pro days for USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. The team subsequently hosted Daniels, Maye and McCarthy on visits at Gillette Stadium, along with Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Wolf said the team isn’t locked into selecting a quarterback, but when asked how comfortable he would be picking one of the top three or four players at the position, he said: “I think we’d be comfortable with it.”

Wolf said hearing from teammates of top quarterbacks, which also includes Oregon’s Bo Nix, has particularly made an impression on him.

“Hearing how impressive they are as teammates, as people, as leaders, I think it’s a unique year. I’d say that’s been impressive with all six of these quarterbacks that are kind of the top guys,” he said.

Of the potential of swinging a trade with the No. 3 pick, Wolf explained how the Patriots consider all scenarios and said conversations have taken place.

“When you’re picking this high, fortunately, those teams that are interested are also doing that, so they’ll reach out earlier than they would when we’re on the clock. That makes it easier in this particular situation,” he said, adding that additional trade conversations have taken place with clubs about acquiring a receiver and players at other positions, which is “definitely something we’d be open to.”

If the Patriots stick at No. 3 and pick a quarterback, Wolf expressed confidence that the team has the infrastructure in place to help him succeed. That includes the signing of veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who could serve as a “positive influence” while also competing against a potential high draft pick.

“We feel good about where we are,” Wolf said. “We feel through free agency, on the offensive side in particular, that we’ve been able to supplement our roster properly so we’re not having to draft for need as much.”

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