Patriots' draft plan is reportedly not set in stone just yet

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Despite the constant speculation about what the Patriots were planning to do with their first-round draft pick, the assumption has always been that they will ultimately stay at No. 3 and select their presumed next franchise quarterback.

It seems like the path that makes the most sense, given the team's circumstances, even more so since they traded Mac Jones earlier this offseason. They're in prime position to get one of the top four players of the class, with most believing they could all make whatever team they go to be successful.

However, assumed general manager Eliot Wolf continues to leave the door open for a possible trade-down scenario come draft night, a situation that many fans and reporters are not on board with.

Patriots' draft plan is reportedly not set in stone just yet

With a few quarterback-needy teams rumored to be interested in trading up into the top 5, like the Broncos, Raiders, and Vikings, the possibility of the Patriots receiving an unbelievable offer has always been there.

Yet, at the same time, they're reportedly asking for a truckload in return for the coveted No. 3 pick, which could deter some of those teams from even entertaining a trade conversation.

It's possible it's all just smoke from New England to see what teams will call and what they will offer; we are at that point in the offseason when teams try to manipulate that narrative surrounding their plans and interest in top players.

But according to Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the Patriots are indeed taking calls from teams wanting to trade for their pick just days away from the start of the 2024 Draft on Thursday night.

"The New England Patriots are listening and taking calls from teams looking to move up to the third pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, league sources said."

This update could also just be smoke, with Mayo and Wolf hoping they'll receive an outrageous offer they couldn't refuse. But it could be accurate, which is a little worrisome given how important a good quarterback is to any team's success.

The only silver lining would be receiving multiple first-rounders in return, like the Vikings, who could send No. 11 and No. 23 from this year's draft (plus more in 2025) for the Patriots' third overall selection.

That would allow Mayo and Wolf to get a top receiver and left tackle in the first round and still use their high second-rounder on one of the second-tier quarterbacks like Michael Penix Jr., who they seem to like.

It's a move that wouldn't be unanimously loved, but it could be the path they think looks best, especially if a team is willing to give up everything, including the kitchen sink, to get their pick.

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