Eliot Wolf's 3 best moves of the offseason for the Patriots

Eliot Wolf hit big on three major items this offseason
Detroit Lions v New England Patriots
Detroit Lions v New England Patriots / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

Newly named Executive Vice President of Player Personnel, Eliot Wolf has essentially completed his first offseason in command of the Patriots' personnel operation. There are pros and cons, as in every offseason. Here, the three positives that stand above all others will be showcased.

They're the best aspect of the most critical offseason in thirty years in Foxborough. Wolf had an opportunity to break the proverbial bank this offseason by finally accomplishing what Bill Belichick really never did: deliver an overall A+++ offseason.

Unfortunately, his free agency efforts were mediocre at best.

That notwithstanding, he accomplished some key objectives and is to be commended for them. Here, we'll talk about these superlatives, which are not to be minimized in importance. NFL seasons, any professional sports team's seasons are essentially built in the offseasons.

Except in rare occurrences (2001 in Foxborough being one exemplary example), you are what you build in the offseason. Then, the team merely plays out the drama as the script was written in the offseason acquisitions.

Eliot Wolf's masterstroke was an obvious one, Drake Maye

There can only be one top move in any offseason, and for Eliot Wolf, it was obvious, but it was bewilderingly questioned in media circles beforehand. If your team needs a quarterback, you unquestionably take the very best you can.

There were three top consensus quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL draft. Caleb Wiliams and Jayden Daniels, the top two prospects, were off the board when the Patriots were on the clock. The third, Drake Maye of North Carolina, was the choice, and Wolf made it.

After all the smoke and mirrors about trading down, blah, blah, blah, Eliot Wolf cut through all the nonsense and did exactly what he should have in selecting Maye. Taking quarterbacks high up in the draft is always a crapshoot. Some work out, and many don't. No matter, the right move is to take the best consensus QB you can and hope for the best.

Wolf did just that with Drake Maye. While media analysts try to find fault with every aspect of the 21-year-old's game, the fact of the matter is Maye has an incredibly high ceiling. He can make any throw and manipulate the pocket brilliantly, and as a true runner (not just a scrambler), he will mandate that defensive coordinator's game plan for that ability.

He's also a leader. It was a home run pick and the best move of the entire offseason.

Wolf's second best moves were also in the draft

Eliot Wolf's second-best offseason move was actually a series of moves. It was his selecting only offense essentially in the draft. It was a long-overdue emphasis that Belichick was never likely to undertake.

All but one of the team's eight picks were on offense. Indeed, Wolf also addressed the positions of greatest need as well. This was again a refreshing departure from the Belichick drafting model, whatever that actually entailed as a strategy.

While there was talk of the "Green Bay Way" of drafting the best player available, Wolf altered that approach into drafting the best player available (as he and his team at least felt) on offense. Again, this was exactly the path he should have taken.

Wolf drafted Maye as his top priority. He also drafted two wide receivers in the first four rounds, finally addressed the offensive tackle position in the third round, and even took a tight end. His major omission, however, was not drafting an offensive left tackle high in the draft (a topic for another day).

The Patriots third best offseason move

The team's third-best moves of the entire offseason were the extensions to a few players. The most important were the belated ones for safety, Kyle Dugger and tackle/guard, Mike Onwenu. A third was a less-delayed one for defensive tackle Christian Barmore.

Dugger and Onwenu are draftees who became starters. The team's fault (not Wolf's) was not signing these four-year players, solid NFL players, to extensions after year two, the optimum time for the club. Wolf seems to have learned from Belichick's erroneous brinkmanship approach.

He moved expeditiously to rectify those mistakes with Dugger and Onwenu (although overpaying in the process) and then got ahead of the game with Barmore. In the future, hopefully, he'll take earlier action with the team's best four-year players and optimally tie them up to team-friendly extensions after year two.

Those are Eliot Wolf's and the New England Patriots' best 2024 off-season moves. They stand among some negatives that will hinder the team in 2024. The worst is the neglect to draft an offensive left tackle, an omission that could tank the entire season in 2024.

But, giving credit where it is due, the positives noted are exhilarating, and when they're right, they're right.

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