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Latest New England Patriots coaching hire hints at front office structure, plans for No. 3 pick in NFL Draft

New England Patriots
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are currently the only NFL team without a general manager in 2024. While there is no official word on who is making the big decisions in the front office, recent additions to the Patriots coaching staff may reportedly hint at plans for the third pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

New England has overhauled its coaching staff this winter, hiring Alex Van Pelt as offensive coordinator and Jeremy Springer as special teams coordinator. Patriots owner Robert Kraft immediately promoted Jerod Mayo to head coach after parting ways with Bill Belichick, but the franchise hasn’t named a new general manager.

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As of now, it’s believed New England’s search for a top executive is still ongoing. However, in-house candidates Eliot Wolf and Matt Groh have been busy scouting players ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. While the franchise is very secretive, there might be signs of who is making some of the big decisions in New England.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Patriots are in talks to add former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo to their offensive staff. The expectation is that McAdoo will be in a role similar to assistant head coach, helping both Mayo and Van Pelt.

Notably, Mike Giardi of the Boston Sports Journal noted that the addition of McAdoo to the Patriots coaching staff is another sign that Eliot Wolf is leading the charge on the new additions to the offensive staff. That’s particularly important because of recent Patriots rumors regarding plans with the No. 3 overall pick.

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There are strong connections between Wolf and new members of the Patriots coaching staff. Before joining New England, Wolf worked for the Green Bay Packers (2004-2017) and the Cleveland Browns (2018-’19).

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Van Pelt joined the Browns coaching staff in 2020, moving to Cleveland right as Wolf was hired as a consultant by New England. Prior to that, however, Van Pelt served on the Packers coaching staff from 2012-’17 as a running backs coach and quarterbacks coach. Similarly, McAdoo was the Packers’ tight ends coach from 2006-’11 then promoted to quarterbacks coach (2012-’13).

The connections to Wolf matter because of reporting by Jeff Howe. Writing for The Athletic, the Patriots’ reporter suggested that if Wolf is in charge of football operations in New England then it likely means the team will take a hard look at using the No. 3 pick on an offensive tackle.

“In-house candidates Eliot Wolf and Matt Groh have also been under consideration. If it’s Wolf running the show, expect the Patriots to give a long, hard look at drafting a left tackle with the No. 3 pick.”

Jeff Howe on the New England Patriots front office, implications for No. 3 pick

If Kraft and Mayo are leaving the decision up to Kraft in the 2024 NFL Draft, it’s far likelier that the Patriots either draft the top offensive tackle on their board or trade down with a team that wants to move up for quarterback Jayden Daniels. While passing on a top quarterback prospect isn’t what many fans want to see, Wolf’s lessons in roster building with Green Bay and Cleveland could influence him to prioritize building a foundation before addressing the quarterback position.

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