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Big Expectations For De Facto Patriots GM Eliot Wolf

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
February 26, 2024 at 3:34 pm ET

Big Expectations For De Facto Patriots GM Eliot Wolf(PHOTO: Green Bay Press Gazette-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 2 minutes

The New England Patriots are obviously embarking on a new era following the departure this offseason of Bill Belichick, and the subsequent hiring of Jerod Mayo.  That means the old way of doing things is certainly out the window, and it’s going to be interesting to see what that means from a personnel standpoint.

Eliot Wolf will be the person leading the charge, with the hope that a lot of the past issues this team has faced won’t be a factor moving forward.

The biggest concern is going to be how this team accumulates talent on the offensive side of the football.  There’s no question that in the last 10 years, the escalation of contracts at the key skill positions has made the draft far more critical to the success of teams than ever before, and that’s been a huge deficiency here in New England.

The 2022 selection of speedy wideout Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor in the second round was thought to hopefully see the Patriots have a change of fortune there, but history has continued repeating itself so far.  Things haven’t worked out, with the former Baylor standout battling injuries while failing to establish a role in the offense.

Thornton broke his collarbone in his rookie season, with a hamstring injury the following year hampering him for most of his sophomore campaign.  But for a player who was expected to be an explosive weapon in this offense, the fact he hasn’t panned out has absolutely hurt them the past two seasons.

Whether or not Wolf can change things is the next question.  Wolf has had his moments, with Andrew Brandt, who previously worked with Wolf in Green Bay, revealing an interesting tidbit to Mike Reiss over the weekend on Wolf’s evaluation of that position.

“I’m a big fan of Eliot,” Brandt told Reiss.  “Every now and then I’d walk by his office and ask him what he was looking at, and one time [in 2006] I remember he said, ‘I want to show you someone. We’re going to take this kid in the second round tomorrow — Greg Jennings, a receiver from Western Michigan.’ And I was like, ‘Really? We’re going to take a kid from Western Michigan in the second round?’ And Eliot just kept saying he hoped he wouldn’t go before then.”

“Then he’s showing me the tape and pointing out the body control, the hands, the strength. And he felt there was no question it would transfer to the [NFL].”

Jennings went on to have a productive career in Green Bay, finishing with 76 catches for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns during the Packers’ Super Bowl run in 2010.

Other highly drafted receivers when Wolf was director of Pro Personnel in Green Bay included DeVante Adams (Round 2, 2014), who obviously ended up being a solid wideout for the Packers.

The key question is how much say he had in the process given that he was working under GM Ted Thompson, who got the majority of the credit for what transpired there.

For now, he’s the man with the keys looking to navigate this team out of the mess they’re in, with an offense full of question marks.  Hopefully, he’ll start providing some answers two months from now.

(The above appeared in a recent Patriots Notebook column that appeared on February 26, 2024)

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About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


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