New England Patriots

Robert Kraft has predictable preference for Patriots' No. 3 pick

The Patriots owner put his 'fan hat on' Tuesday morning.

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Jerod Mayo insisted Monday that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family don't want to be involved in football operations.

But if you're asking Robert Kraft the fan, he has a clear preference for one crucial Patriots decision.

Kraft was asked Tuesday at the NFL's Annual League Meeting in Orlando if he'd like to see New England select a quarterback with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, its highest selection since 1993.

"As a fan -- I'll put my fan hat on -- I definitely would," Kraft replied. "In the end, you can't win in this league consistently unless you have a first-rate quarterback and a first-rate coach."

Check out the video player above for Kraft's full comments on the Patriots' draft plans.

The Patriots publicly have insisted that all options are on the table at No. 3. Mayo told reporters Monday the team is open to taking a quarterback third overall -- LSU's Jayden Daniels, UNC's Drake Maye and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy all could be potential options with USC's Caleb Williams seemingly locked in at No. 1 -- but also is open to trading down if it receives a strong enough offer.

Kraft appeared well aware of the possibility of trading down and insisted he'd defer to de facto general manager Eliot Wolf and New England's front office on that potentially franchise-altering decision.

"On the other hand, you're in different positions, and we've never been in the third draft position since we've owned the team," Kraft continued. "And what happens, a lot of (teams) behind (you) are really desperate to move up, and so we're gonna be open to whatever could come our way. But in the end, I'll let the team make the decision what they think is best."

That said, Kraft couldn't help but reveal his true preference for the Patriots in the draft.

"One way or another, I'd like to see us get a top-rate young quarterback," he added.

Kraft's viewpoint is understandable. After all, he watched his franchise win six Super Bowls and build the greatest modern dynasty in professional sports on the strength of star quarterback Tom Brady and legendary head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots also would be much more marketable if Daniels or Maye, for example, were leading the team instead of career backup Jacoby Brissett. So, it's no wonder he wants to see his team come out of the draft with a potential franchise QB.

Wolf and Co. have to weigh their options carefully, however. New England has pressing needs at multiple offensive positions, and as our Tom E. Curran has explained, there's significant risk in dropping a rookie QB into an unsettled offensive situation. If a team offers the Patriots a bounty of draft picks to trade down from No. 3, they'll have to consider that offer seriously.

How much the front office also considers the desires of its boss to land a "top-rate young quarterback" remains to be seen.

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