Eliot Wolf reveals how close the Patriots came to trading No. 3 pick

Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye is selected as the
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye is selected as the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When it was clear the Patriots would hold the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, speculation began about what they would do with their selection. It seemed clear that Mac Jones wasn't the player they were hoping for, so the assumption was they would select a quarterback with their high pick.

It was their highest spot in the first round since picking Drew Bledsoe thirty years ago, and since they were in a similar situation now, it made sense they would repeat history and take a quarterback.

But then came the debate about the new guys in charge, Jerod Mayo and Eliot Wolf, taking a slower approach to the team's rebuild, and instead of drafting a quarterback, they would trade down to acquire more picks. That would allow them to add even more needed talent to the offense to build the roster around the quarterback before throwing a rookie into the mix.

The debate about which direction they'd go in the draft continued until Round 1 began last month. Rumors continued to suggest the team was taking calls about possible trades, especially if the quarterback they liked the most went to the Commanders at No. 2.

As we know now, the Patriots stayed with their initial pick and chose Drake Maye, not trading down despite the reported numerous offers from teams. Because of that, Mayo and Wolf continue to be asked about their plans regarding the pick heading into the draft, which reveals they had their eyes set on Maye and nobody else.

Eliot Wolf reveals the Patriots were never serious about trading away first-round pick

Given the tough situation the Patriots were in with no quarterback and a depleted offensive roster, it makes sense why they would be all in on taking a likely franchise quarterback with their first-round pick.

Wolf echoed that while speaking to NFL insider Adam Schefter on his podcast this week but also shared that they were never close to trading out of No. 3 despite the unnecessary chatter suggesting they were seriously considering doing so.

"Not close, not close. …We were listening throughout the process; we weren’t stringing these teams along. No one ever, like, the opportunity to pick Drake (Maye) superseded anything that anyone offered. There was nothing out there that made us come off our plan."

Finding the next quarterback to lead your team is not an easy position for any general manager or head coach, never mind two guys just given those roles a few months before the draft, so it's hard to disagree with Wolf's assessment that it was drafting Maye or bust.

This seems to line up with the report that the Patriots knew for weeks that the Commanders were going to pick Jayden Daniels, seemingly confirming their opportunity to snag Maye.

But does it also confirm that had Maye not been available, they would have traded down? There were rumors suggesting they were high on J.J. McCarthy as well, although it seemed to be mostly smoke. They could have traded down and drafted the Michigan alum, but maybe they would've chosen to weaponize the rest of the offense instead.

Regardless, they were able to draft the player they wanted all along, and Maye is now the future quarterback in New England.

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