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Former NFL: exec to Patriots: Trading No. 3 pick could be big mistake

The New England Patriots have a list of needs heading into the 2024 season.

And equipped with their highest draft position in 30 years, the No. 3 overall pick could help the team address many of them – perhaps allowing the team to add several high round selections by trading down 5 to 10 spots.

But Former NFL GM Thomas Dimitroff said the Patriots should think twice – and scout hard – before taking offers.This could be the team’s best chance to find their next Franchise quarterback. And no bounty of picks is worth passing that up, he said.

“My very first pick ever (in Atlanta) was the third overall pick and because I wanted him so much — if we did not pick Matt Ryan, I would have been in this business two years, not 13. So I have a little bit of a different perspective,” Dimitroff told the Patriots Talk podcast this week.

Dimitroff said the team needs to have its scouting department look ahead to see how this year’s QB class – not just Caleb Williams – stacks up compared to prospects in 2025 and 2026.  With the No. 3 pick, they need to check all the boxes – and think hard about passing up on a chance to let a first round talent this year pass them by.

“So if you’re here now with some really good quarterbacks, that’s when you have to really sit down and decide ‘Is it best to trade back or is it best to get your guy now?'”

It’s become a popular discussion point this season that the Patriots might be better served taking WR 1 Marvin Harrison Jr or adding draft stock in 2024 and make a run at a Qb with an offensive nucleus intact.

That could work out well. 

But if there’s a quarterback this year, the club’s scouts are banging the table to add, the Patriots should trust their experts, Dimitroff added.

“If you love your guy, you gotta go for him,” he said.

“If you have a guy that you really like and you know that — if you have a good scouting department, a good management group, you definitely get your scouts knowing what’s out there two, three and four years away, that’s a big thing,” he said. “If you think there’s going to be a bad run, like back in the day when Atlanta didn’t take a quarterback three or four years ago, that was a bad two or three years of really trying to figure it out.”