Patriots GM rumored to be "pushing hard" for unlikely player in first round

Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf during the
Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New England Patriots director of scouting Eliot Wolf during the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We are just over three weeks away from the official start of the 2024 NFL Draft, where the Patriots are expected to make a franchise-altering decision with their coveted third overall pick.

There has been plenty of speculation surrounding what that could be. All scenarios have been explored, including taking a quarterback, choosing a different position with the pick, or even trading down to acquire more selections.

Within those debates, if they do take their next presumed starting quarterback, who might it be? Besides Caleb Williams, who has been the front-running first player off the board since before the 2023 season even finished, the Patriots will have a few options on their plate.

The Commanders are on the clock before them, who are also assumingly taking a quarterback. So, depending on who they take, New England should have a choice of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, or J.J. McCarthy.

Over the last several weeks, Daniels and Maye have been flip-flopping regarding who is the favorite to be the next Patriot. The team attended both Pro Days and has met with them on a few occasions, continuing the mystery of who they might be more interested in come draft night.

That changed on Monday afternoon when Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda revealed the latest chatter coming out of Foxboro.

Patriots GM is rumored to be "pushing hard" for J.J. McCarthy with third overall pick

Despite the majority of rumors connecting Daniels and Maye to be the likeliest picks by the Patriots in round one, Pauline suggests Eliot Wolf, the acting general manager, has been focused on the quarterback who has been rising the most on big boards over the last few weeks, J.J. McCarthy.

The Michigan alum has been predominately hyped by the Chargers' new head coach, Jim Harbaugh, who coached McCarthy in college, fueling rumors of a possible shocking selection of the quarterback with the fifth overall pick.

But according to Pauline, he might be off the board when the Patriots get on the clock.

"..the UM signal caller to New England was the buzz on the Pro-Day circuit. De-facto general manager Eliot Wolf is pushing hard for McCarthy, and he believes he has as much upside as any quarterback in this draft."

This will surely go over well with fans of New England.

It will be interesting to see if there is any real truth to this rumor since we are at the point in the lead-up to the draft where it's all about smoke and mirrors. It's possible the Patriots wanted this tidbit to get the teams around them to either bite or run away.

Perhaps they want teams to take another look at McCarthy after hearing the Patriots are in on him, or they want any team who has the desire to trade up for a quarterback to make a move and throw everything and the kitchen sink at them to get a deal done.

We won't know until draft night, and from now until then, there will inevitably be more rumors to come.

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