As de facto GM, Eliot Wolf shouldn't play it safe in first draft.

As de facto general manager of the New England Patriots, Eliot Wolf faces scrutiny before his first selection. It's the Patriots' first draft without Bill Belichick and a crucial one for a roster rebuild. After a disappointing free-agency period, New England has to improve at quarterback, wide receiver, and tackle.

Most want Wolf and the Patriots to take a quarterback with the third overall choice, likely LSU's Jayden Daniels or UNC's Drake Maye. That's the safe choice, but Tom E. Curran says Wolf should go against the grain. Curran says in the latest Quick Slants podcast that moving down would help New England improve its roster and prepare its future QB.

Eliot Wolf, the Patriots' de facto GM, is auditioning. Curran: You're temporary. "After fumbling in the free-agent market, you got the third pick. How will you play? Safe? Are you taking the quarterback? Buys time. Don't worry about Drake Maye becoming Michael Jordan elsewhere if you don't take him. Just do what everyone has said for months. The safe option.

"Eliot, what requires guts? It takes courage and brains? Admitting your roster is too bad to add a QB. Telling everyone Christmas is cancelled because of electricity and grocery costs."

Curran compared the new Patriots to the terrible Jets if they keep hurting their young quarterbacks. Fellow Patriots insider Phil Perry responded that Wolf and the Pats should choose a QB at No. 3.

Both parties have valid claims. According to Curran, the Patriots' No. 3 pick would play in a talent-poor offense. Because of it, Mac Jones failed in New England, why shouldn't another young QB?

Perry believes drafting a top QB at No. 3 may change the franchise. The Houston Texans improved last season with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Maybe Daniels or Maye can do it for the Patriots in 2024.

Whatever happens, the Patriots' draft is vital beyond the third choice. They'll need to sign multiple top players to contend in the foreseeable future due to roster deficiencies.

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