Wolf opens up about approach to major decisions this offseason

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Ahead of one the most important weeks in recent memory for the Patriots franchise, Director of Scouting Eliot Wolf met with the media during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday morning.

So far, so good.

The assimilation and transition process into a new era in Foxborough with himself and Jerod Mayo at the helm seems to be going smoothly.

“I think the key is just having open and honest meetings and dialogue,” Wolf said. “We had a series of meetings that were tremendous for us as we all got on the same page in terms of what our team needs are. I was actually really encouraged by everybody just willing to say their opinion, even if it wasn’t different from he previous person. So, you know, having those open and honest meetings and working together to determine the best outcome is definitely what’s important.”

As far as what the team plans on doing with the No. 3 overall pick and most importantly, quarterback, that’s still very much up in the air. Take a QB? Take a tackle? Take a receiver? Trade it for Justin Jefferson and/or multiple first rounders? Trade Mac and/or Zappe? The possibilities are seemingly endless.

Wolf did reveal the team will meet with Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels and Caleb Williams individually, doing their due diligence with the process.

“Id say there’s a lot of options on the table. We’re not going to be a program that’s talking about these guys (Zappe and Jones) through the media. We’re going to do what’s best for the team behind the scenes and the strategy of that is going to be myself, Jerod Mayo, Matt Groh and we’re going to try and do the right thing for the team.

“I think it’s a really good year for quarterbacks. It’s a really good year for a lot of positions. Like any position, we’re going to evaluate (the QB’s) strengths and weaknesses, determine who fits for us. We’re pretty early in the process here. Like, I haven’t met any of these guys. Jerod hasn’t met any of these guys. So, you know, as we continue through the process here, we’ll determine what’s best for the team and – you know, one thing about the quarterbacks in this draft specifically that I’m excited about is they all look like they’re really tough guys. Which, you know, is obviously great at any position, but the quarterback position especially.”

Wolf did acknowledge the obvious fact that the team needs to be more explosive on offense, which makes the situation much complicated. What comes first, the QB or the talent around him?

“I think the main thing is just getting players that fit our culture. Getting players that want to do right, want to do the extra. But, in terms of just physical skills, we need to weaponize the offense,” he said emphatically. “We need to get faster and more explosive on defense and you know, height, weight, speed, playmaking ability…there will definitely be an emphasis on those things.”

Another huge piece of the 2024 puzzle (and future puzzles) could be Mike Onwenu. Wolf was asked about the hugely important O-lineman after he recently fired his agents and he had the most emphatic statement we’ve heard so far when it comes to the team’s desire to retain Onwenu.

“It doesn’t impact us,” Wolf said of the agent decision. “Mike’s a core player for us us. It’s no secret we want to try and keep Mike and it’ll just be a little bit of a wrinkle dealing with him. Mike’s really smart, he’s introspective and he’s thoughtful. He understands…he knows what he wants, which is always good when you’re dealing with a player. He’s certainly someone we view as a cornerstone for us.”

So now, it’s up to Groh, Wolf and Mayo to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The future of the organization legitimately lies in their hands, making this week and the weeks that follow leading up to the NFL Draft so critically important.

And, for anyone worried about Robert or Jonathan Kraft meddling in any draft or free agency decisions, Wolf put the blame directly on himself and the new head coach if things go poorly.

“They prefer to stay out of football, but they’ve been very supportive of Jerod and myself and Matt,” he added. “Anything we need, we’ve got in a lot of ways. So, I think they have opinions which they’ll share, but ultimately, it’s down to Jerod and I.”