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Eliot Wolf says Patriots remain "open for business" ahead of NFL Draft

J.J. McCarthy visiting with Patriots on Monday -- why has his NFL Draft stock risen so much?
J.J. McCarthy visiting with Patriots on Monday -- why has his NFL Draft stock risen so much? 06:53

FOXBORO -- The NFL Draft is now just a week away, and the New England Patriots are keeping the suspense alive in terms of what they'll be doing with the third overall pick. While most signs point to New England drafting a quarterback at No. 3, director of scouting and de factor general manager Eliot Wolf said Thursday that everything remains on the table. 

That includes potentially trading out of that pick at the top of the draft board.

Wolf held his pre-draft press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday and touched on a number of topics during this 20-plus minutes with reporters. 

The Patriots are open for business on the trade front

Wolf said that the Patriots have had trade conversations with other teams for the third overall pick, but they haven't been blown away by any offers. That could obviously change over the next week, especially when the draft begins on Thursday night.

"We're open to anything. Moving up, moving down. We're open for business in the first round and any round," said Wolf. "We have some holes we need to fill in the draft, and the more picks we have the better. But if there is an opportunity to move up and strike if the board recommends it, we won't be afraid to pull the trigger on that either."

The Patriots are comfortable with any quarterback at third overall

Picking a quarterback at No. 3 will be the biggest decision the franchise makes of the post-Bill Belichick era in New England. Caleb Williams is expected to go first overall to the Bears and Jayden Daniels second overall to the Commanders, which would leave the Patriots to draft either UNC's Drake Maye or Michigan's J.J. McCarthy at No. 3. Daniels, Maye, and McCarthy all made Top 30 visits to New England, as did Washington's Michael Penix Jr., who is expected to go later in the first round. Oregon's Bo Nix is also gaining some traction as a first-round QB.

Wolf has been left impressed with each of the quarterbacks that the Patriots have spoken with, and said he'd be comfortable taking any of them third overall.

"When you bring them in, do the people that are here, do players gravitate to them? I've been impressed with all the quarterbacks weve talked to this year in that regard," he said.

Wolf has also been inquiring with teammates of the quarterbacks, and has liked what he's heard about all of them.

"Hearing how impressive they are as teammates and leaders -- I think it's a unique year," he said. "I think it's been impressive with all six of the quarterbacks."

But this doesn't mean the Patriots will be drafting a quarterback if they stay at No. 3. Asked if he feels the Patriots have to come out of Round 1 with a quarterback -- at No. 3 or later in the night -- Wolf gave a simple "No" as his response.

Wolf believes the Patriots have an NFL roster that can support a rookie quarterback

There has been a lot of concern that the Patriots don't have a roster to support a young quarterback trying to make their way in the NFL. Wolf disagrees vehemently with that assessment. 

"I read a lot of that storyline and I'm not really sure what that means. We have a solid offensive line -- we re-signed Mike Onwenu, David Andrews is coming back, we have the three offensive linemen we drafted last year (Jake Andrews, Sidy Sow, and Atonio Mafi) that are developing, and we signed [Chukwuma] Okorafor from the Steelers," said White. "[We have] Hunter Henry, a solid running game. I definitely feel like we can support [a rookie QB]."

Wolf said there have been trade talks with other teams that would help New England upgrade its receiving corps, and the Patriots are certainly open to such a move. But he's also confident that Kendrick Bourne, K.J. Osborn, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Demario Douglas are a good start at receiver.

"We're going to have the support needed for that quarterback if we draft one, whoever that is. We're going to support them in every way possible to make sure they succeed," said Wolf. "We feel good about where we are."

Eliot Wolf has final say, but NFL Draft will be a collaborative process for Patriots

As the team's de facto GM, Wolf will have final say when it comes to picks and trades. But that doesn't mean he's just going to take the players that he wants.

"If I'm the only person that wants a player and everybody else in the building doesn't want a player, I'm not crazy," he said. "We're going to try to do what's right."

Before every pick, Wolf will discuss the selection with a handful of people, including head coach Jerod Mayo, director of player personnel Matt Groh, scouts, and coordinators. 

"We're focused on the long term and what is right for the team," said Wolf. 

Eliot Wolf discusses Jacoby Brissett's role with the Patriots

The Patriots signed veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett over the offseason, and Wolf likes the flexibility the 31-year-old gives the team at the position.

"We signed Jacoby because he is a good player. He's a big, strong, relentless preparer in terms of his ability to take a game plan and apply it through the week on Sunday. He's got a big arm and we feel that if we end up drafting a quarterback high, he is someone who can support that player and be a positive influences on them while competing with them," said Wolf.

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