‘Open for business’: Eliot Wolf talks potential Patriots draft trade

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Eliot Wolf is leaving all options open in his first draft as head of the New England Patriots’ front office.

The Patriots’ de facto general manager is faced with one of the franchise’s most important decisions this century: what to do with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With Caleb Williams expected to go No. 1 overall, New England can choose between at least two of the next three elite quarterback prospects in LSU’s Jayden Daniels, UNC’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

The Patriots also could explore trading down from No. 3, however, and as Wolf noted Thursday in a press conference at Gillette Stadium, that option is very much on the table.

“We’re open to anything; moving up, moving down,” Wolf told reporters, as seen in the video player above. “We’re 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 we’re a draft-and-develop team. The more picks we have the better, but if we feel like 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 it, either.”

New England’s biggest need is at quarterback, so the team drafting either Daniels, Maye or McCarthy as its future franchise QB would be a logical move. But it appears Wolf and Co. have contingency plans: Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reports the Patriots scheduled a last-minute meeting with Michael Penix Jr. this week with the idea of potentially trading out from No. 3 and taking the Washington QB later in the first round. Breer also noted that several teams have expressed interest in trading up to No. 3 to draft Maye.

A trade down would give the Patriots more draft capital to address the other roster “holes” Wolf mentioned, most notably at offensive tackle and wide receiver. But Wolf made sure to reiterate that the Patriots would be fine keeping the No. 3 pick if a strong enough trade offer doesn’t materialize.

“I think we’d be comfortable with it,” Wolf responded when asked about his comfort level in drafting either Daniels, Maye or McCarthy at No. 3 overall.

Wolf is wise to keep all options on the table ahead of the first round next Thursday. Even if the Patriots are internally leaning toward taking a QB at No. 3, and even if it would take a “massive” offer to trade down from that pick (as our Tom E. Curran reported earlier this month), it’s worth at least keeping a “For Sale” sign up until draft night to see if a team is desperate enough to give the Patriots the “bag” they’re seeking.

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