Draft highlights of Patriots' rumored GM Eliot Wolf are a mix of good and bad

Jul 28, 2016; Green Bay,WI, USA; Green Bay Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf looks
Jul 28, 2016; Green Bay,WI, USA; Green Bay Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf looks / Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

As that most underrated of philosophers, Dolly Parton once said, “What people do behind closed doors is certainly not my concern unless I’m there with them.” And that perfectly sums up why it’s impossible to know what the Packers’ “director of player personnel” was doing in 2015 and 2016.

The only thing we know for sure is his father, Ron, was the Packers' GM between 1991 and 2000. But you have to assume a director of player personnel had some input in the Packers' war room. He did begin his Patriots career as a scouting “consultant,” so someone in the organization must value his expertise in this area. 

He now seems to be holding that title in New England this offseason, and is believed to be why they hired Alex Van Pelt and Ben McAdoo. So, presumably, he’ll be very involved in recruiting players, too?

What do the previous drafts he’s been involved in tell us about where the Patriots might look come April? 

Let's look at the highlights of Eliot Wolf's input for draft picks

Well, in 2015 and 2016, the Packers drafted defensive players with their first-round picks. In 2015, it was Damarious Randall, a defensive back from Arizona State. He went on to play 81 games in 5 years, spending two years in Cleveland when Wolf was the assistant GM. The following season, the Packers drafted Kenny Clark in the first round. He is still a Packer and has played 133 games in his eight seasons in Green Bay. 

Ty Montgomery headlined the Packers' 2015 draft; a 3rd round pick out of Stanford, he played 39 games for the Packers before being traded to Baltimore. He then bounced around the Jets and Saints before landing in New England. He’s currently 31 and a free agent, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he found a new team for next season. 

Clark was undoubtedly the highlight of the 2016 draft, but Blake Martinez and Dean Lowry are also still in the league. Martinez was a Steeler in 2023,, and Lowry is contracted to the Vikings through next season. 

Wolf became the Packers’ director of football operations in 2016, so he wasn’t as involved with personnel recruitment in 2017. However, that year, the Packers took defensive players with their first four picks. They did take Aaron Jones in the fifth round, though, and that has to be one of the best picks anyone has ever made!  

Wolf left the Packers after they refused the Lions' request to interview him for their vacant GM job in 2016, moving on to become Cleveland's assistant GM in 2018. In 2018, the Browns took Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick. But they took cornerback Denzel Ward in the second round, and he’s now a 3-time Pro bowler.

The Browns also selected Austin Corbett, a center who went on to win the Super Bowl with the Rams, and Nick Chubb in 2018. But all 4 of those picks came in the first two rounds. None of their next five picks lasted past the 2022 season. 

In Wolf’s final season in Cleveland, the Browns didn’t have a pick in the 1st round. They took Greedy Williams, another cornerback, with the 46th pick. There was a lot of hype around the LSU product, but he only went on to defend 12 passes in the three seasons he played in Cleveland. He spent last year on the Eagles’ practice squad.

The Browns only spent one of their 2018 picks on an offensive player, Drew Forbes, an offensive lineman. They drafted another cornerback, Donnie Lewis Jr., in the 7th round. Sione Takitaki and Mack Wilson (who was a Patriot last season) are both linebackers.

A safety, Sheldrick Redwine, and a kicker. Austin Seibert would only last one entire season in Cleveland, though. So, Chad Ryland wasn’t the only draft pick used on a kicker who flamed out after 1 season. 

Wolf isn’t a new face in New England, as he has been the Director of scouting since 2022, But it’s generally understood that Belichick had been in charge of drafting players (apart from that one time he let Nike have a go).

So, how much influence Wolf had when it came to drafting the likes of Jack Jones and Kayshon Boutte is unclear. 

Wolf has certainly been involved in some very successful drafts. If the Patriots find someone of Aaron Jones’ caliber in the 5th round, this one will have to be considered a success, too. But since the only two quarterbacks he’s been involved in drafting are Brett Hundley and Bailey Zappe, who were 5th- and 4th-round picks, respectively, Daniel Jeremiah may be “stunned. " 

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