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Report: Eliot Wolf Loves Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

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Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates their win with head coach Jim Harbaugh against Washington in the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston.Could either end up with the New England Patriots next season? (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The New England Patriots select at No. 3 in the 2024 NFL Draft. Talk for months has centered around two names. The consensus has been the Washington Commanders will draft North Carolina’s Drake Maye or LSU’s Jayden Daniels with the second overall pick. New England selects whichever quarterback remains with the next pick. But according to a recent report, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy should not be overlooked.

Tony Pauline of Sportskeeda has been talking to general managers and other executives around the NFL during the Pro Day circuit. Pauline states other teams are saying New England executive Eliot Wolf wants to make McCarthy the new face of the Patriots franchise.

What is Tony Pauline Hearing?

“Eliot Wolf, the de facto general manager of the Patriots, is in love with J.J. McCarthy,” Pauline reports hearing. “Eliot Wolf is pushing for J.J. McCarthy and it seems like that is going to be the pick.”

The New England Patriots stressed a collaborative approach with their new regime. Eliot Wolf gets the final say on draft decisions, though it’s clear having a consensus is a point of emphasis for the organization.

“I can understand the love for J.J. McCarthy,” acknowledged Pauline. He then added, “I don’t agree with it.”

Pauline states the attributes that appeal to Wolf and other NFL teams include a lot of the traits that cannot be measured at the NFL Scouting Combine but show up in interviews and on the field. It is McCarthy’s intangibles that make him an attractive prospect to many.

“Great confidence, great moxie, he’s a great leader,” Pauline said of McCarthy. “I question his physical skills.”

The Lying Season

Is a third-overall pick with questionable physical skills the right move for a franchise looking to reestablish itself as a contender? A Michigan quarterback named Tom Brady fared well for the New England Patriots during the Belichick Era. Would hailing from the same school as Brady add to the inevitable unfair comparisons for a rookie QB in New England?

The time leading up to the NFL Draft has been dubbed the “lying season” so no report should be taken as fact. These rumors might be true. They also might be a smoke screen set up by the New England Patriots themselves. If another team thinks the Patriots love J.J. McCarthy, they could offer more to try and get No. 3 from New England. Or that other team could leapfrog New England and trade with Washington to get McCarthy. The Patriots could then choose between Maye and Daniels themselves, instead of letting the Commanders choose for them.

In other words, everything remains on the table. The New England Patriots could select J.J. McCarthy at No. 3. They could take another quarterback there. They could also trade down if overwhelmed by an offer. Everything remains on the table at this point. Just because it’s lying season doesn’t mean everything is a lie. It just means there is no way to tell the difference between false information and actual opinions at this time of year. Stay tuned.

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