Mayo: Patriots ‘still open’ to trade offers for No. 3 pick

ORLANDO, Fla. — First-year New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo said Sunday that the team isn’t locked into making a selection at No. 3 in the NFL draft.

“Obviously, quarterback is definitely a priority. With that being said, we’re still open to any type of deals that come our way,” Mayo said on the first day of the NFL annual meeting, when asked where the team stands in its evaluation of quarterbacks.

“We’re very far [into] the process, but we still have a long way to go. Definitely feel like we have time to really nail down our prospects in who we are going to go after.”

This past week, Mayo traveled alongside director of scouting Eliot Wolf, who has final personnel say, to pro days for USC’s Caleb Williams and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. Later this week, they are expected to do the same with LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

Asked how far along he’d estimate the Patriots have gotten in their scouting of quarterbacks, Mayo said: “It’s hard to put a number, as far as percentage, on how far along we are. Remember, there are other positions besides quarterback as well. We’ll be at 100% when the draft gets here [April 25]. Just not yet.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has called this the most anticipated draft in his 31-year tenure, as the No. 3 pick is the highest the team has had over that time.

The Patriots signed veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett to a one-year, $8 million deal earlier this month, and he joins 2022 fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe and second-year player Nathan Rourke on the depth chart.

Though many assume the team will select a quarterback at No. 3, Wolf previously echoed Mayo’s remarks that the team would be “open to anything” and “that could manifest itself in a lot of different ways.”

“It’s kind of determining how you have the players rated and also if any trade offers come in,” Wolf said at February’s NFL combine.

Wolf also has said the Patriots hoped to “weaponize” their offense, which was reflected in the team making a hard push for free agent receiver Calvin Ridley, who chose to sign with the Tennessee Titans instead.

On Sunday, Mayo was asked how he felt the process of improving the offense has unfolded to date.

“The most important thing for us was to get our people back here. Re-sign our players — the Mike Onwenus of the world. We have some good players that we like to keep and that’s kind of part of the culture that we want to build,” he said. “Obviously, we were disappointed that Ridley went in a different direction, but we’re good. I like the direction that we’re going.”

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