Patriots’ front office ‘open to anything’ with No. 3 pick options

Trading the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft remains an option for the New England Patriots, but de facto general manager Eliot Wolf also is open to most any possibility one week before the event kicks off in Detroit.

Wolf sprayed to all fields as he chatted with reporters Thursday. He’s embracing his first draft at the top of the Patriots’ personnel department, a role he was handed when New England fired Bill Belichick and hired Jerod Mayo as head coach.

The son of Hall of Fame general manager Ron Wolf admitted he’s always eager for more picks — New England has eight overall selections starting with the third pick, No. 34 overall and No. 68 at the top of the third round.

Wolf has a massive hole at quarterback to fill, but it’s one of many for a team plotting to rebound from a 4-13 season.

“We’re a draft-and-develop team,” Wolf said. “The more picks we have, the better.”

Failing to develop the last quarterback New England selected in the first round — Mac Jones, the 15th pick in 2021 out of Alabama — was a factor that pushed the Patriots into the draft’s top 10 for the first time since they drafted Mayo 10th in 2008. Jones was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason after 42 career starts

“We’re open to anything — moving up, moving down,” Wolf said. “We’re open for business in the first round and in every round. … If there’s an opportunity to move up and strike if the board, kind of, recommends it, we’re open to anything.”

New England signed journeyman quarterback Jacoby Brissett while not masking their interest in the top quarterbacks in the 2024 draft. Some combination of Wolf, Mayo and top assistant coaches attended Pro Day workouts for Southern California’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and North Carolina’s Drake Maye. Washington quarterback Michael Penix was one of the “top 30” prospect visits at team headquarters in Foxborough, Mass.

Wolf revealed the top six quarterbacks on the Patriots’ board all received glowing marks from teammates and coaches during New England’s scouting staff research the past three-plus months.

“Hearing how impressive they are as teammates, as people, as leaders … I think it’s a unique year. I’d say that’s been impressive with all six of these quarterbacks that are kind of the top guys,” Wolf said.

The Patriots traded Jones after benching him late in the 2023 season. Bailey Zappe, drafted 137th overall in 2022, went 2-4 as New England’s starter down the stretch. Wolf was part of the front office that selected Jones and Zappe, but New England held onto Zappe in the offseason with a new system introduced following Bill O’Brien’s departure for the college ranks.

Zappe turns 25 on the second night of the draft — by comparison, Penix turns 24 in May and Daniels’ 24th birthday is Dec. 20 — and is expected to stick around at least into training camp unless the Patriots draft two quarterbacks or acquire one via trade.