The Patriots are going to be trying something new ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.
New England made the conscious choice not to elevate anyone into Bill Belichick’s former role as primary executive, but reportedly has given those responsibilities to director of scouting Eliot Wolf. He’s since made a number of additions relating to days as a member of the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.
Alex Van Pelt (offensive coordinator), Ben McAdoo (senior assistant), T.C. McCartney (quarterbacks) and Scott Peters (offensive line) were all added to the Patriots’ offensive coaching staff. Alonzo Highsmith is essentially the lone personnel addition, though, and will have quite the impact on how New England approaches April’s draft.
Highsmith will help the Patriots transition their “grading system” as part of his new role with the organization, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.
Belichick had “stringent grading rules on specific players and their fits in organization,” according to Jones. The Packers’ system, which molded Wolf and Highsmith has long emphasized traits like “athleticism, versatility and explosiveness.”
The Patriots have already labeled “explosiveness” as something they’re looking to add this offseason. They’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so, especially after having a long list of scouts at the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl. The No. 3 pick and loads of cap space should help, as well.
It became fairly obvious in recent seasons that Belichick’s system no longer was working, so any change at this point relating to the draft should be welcomed.