NFL Draft Rumors: Why Patriots should be ‘open to anything’ to fill holes in 2024 NFL Draft

Patriots in position to trade up or down to get what they need in the 2024 NFL Draft.
NFL Combine - Patriots de facto GM Eliot Wolf
NFL Combine - Patriots de facto GM Eliot Wolf / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The New England Patriots taking one of the top quarterbacks with the No. 3 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft isn’t a lock.  That’s what makes draft night must watch TV for football fans, particularly Patriots Nation as all eyes will be on what de facto general manager Eliot Wolf does with the pick and in the draft overall.

For the first time in two decades, Bill Belichick won’t have a hand in the draft which makes it less predictable than the classic Belichick trade down for more picks.  Although Wolf is in position to do the same, if the Patriots play the draft board, perhaps there is greater value in more picks to fill more holes unless they are absolutely in love with one of the top three QBs. 

Can the New England Patriots find a way to manipulate the 2024 NFL Draft board?

In a pre-draft press conference on Thursday, Wolf isn’t ruling anything out come draft night.  Patriots fans, hold tight or get ready for fireworks in either direction.

“We’re open to anything,” Wolf said, as transcribed by WEEI.  “Moving up, moving down.  We’re go open for business in the first round and in every round.

We have some holes we feel like we need to fill in the draft and, you know we’re a ‘draft and develop’ team.  The more picks we have the better.  But if there’s an opportunity to move up and strike if the board kind of recommends it, then we won’t be afraid to pull the trigger on that either.”

With depth in talent at their major areas of need, the Patriots don’t necessarily have to select a QB at No. 3 if top prospects like North Carolina’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels don’t completely wow them, which doesn’t seem to be the case.  But, if Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy wins them over, trading back a few slots and gaining an additional day 2 pick could entice Wolf or if a team with two first round picks like the Vikings come calling, would having picks No. 11, 23, and 34 be a greater value than No. 3 overall?  That would be 3 picks in the first 35 selections which would allow the Patriots to get their playmaker, QB and left tackle who would all be considered first-round talents.

That is an option Wolf would have to consider if Maye or Daniels is not the answer.  Another possibility most mock draft enthusiasts have played around with is the idea of the Patriots using No. 3 on OSU’s Marvin Harrison Jr and then using No. 34 on either Washington’s Michael Penix Jr or Oregon’s Bo Nix.

Interesting options, but either of those QB’s could mean the Patriots playing through the 2024 NFL season or most of it with Jacoby Brissett under center as QB1.  Patriots’ fans love Brissett, but that option wouldn’t set too well for fans and an owner in Robert Kraft starving for relevancy again.

At the same time, Wolf and the Patriots must be patient, so if they go the obvious route and select a QB at No. 3, it will be because they did their homework in exploring all options and fill that player has the upside to develop as the next guy.  Although whoever they will select will have more talent than Mac Jones, the Patriots can’t afford to draft another QB who regresses over time.  They must hit in whatever direction they go.