New England Patriots

Eliot Wolf explains why Patriots traded down, drafted Polk at No. 37

No matter the pick, it sounds like Ja'Lynn Polk was destined to be a Patriot.

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The New England Patriots made fans feel as if Bill Belichick was still in control when they announced that they had traded their No. 34 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, moving down to pick No. 37 while additionally sending their No. 137 pick to the Los Angeles Chargers in return for pick No. 110.

For New England director of scouting Eliot Wolf, the move was a no-brainer. According to Wolf, the Patriots were always going to select wideout Ja'Lynn Polk -- whether it was at No. 34 or No. 37 -- trusting in their intel that the Washington man would be around a few picks later.

"We felt like Polk was the player we were going to pick at 34," Wolf told the media. "We felt, based on some of the intel we had from other teams, that we would be able to trade back a little bit and still get him, so we made that deal and were able to move up from the fifth [round] to the fourth."

While some fans may have been surprised by the pick with Texas receiver Adonai Mitchell still on the board, plenty on social media praised Polk's game. Wolf additionally explained why he believes Polk is the right fit for the Patriots.

"He's a guy that we've had our eye on for a while," Wolf said of Polk. "[He's] a really good fit in our offense, he's really tough, he's strong, he can run all of the routes, play inside or outside, he's a good blocker, really competitive -- both for the ball in the air and for run after catch player -- really just a versatile, do-everything type guy."

Polk's scouting report proves just how versatile the 6-foot-1, 204-pound pass catcher can be. Playing in a crowded receiving corps in Washington, Polk had the ability to carve out his own role by playing outside as well as in the slot, catching nearly everything thrown his way and using his strength to fight for extra yards. He racked up 1,159 yards on 69 receptions with nine touchdown catches for the Huskies in 2023.

Coming into a receiver room that has struggled in recent years, Polk will have an early shot at competing for a prominent role in the Patriots' offense.

Highlights from the Patriots 37th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, WR Ja'Lynn Polk out of Washington.
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