The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 pick in the draft and the Washington Commanders will pick second. However, the New England Patriots may control the 2024 NFL Draft with the No. 3 pick.

The Bears and the Commanders are in the same position as the Patriots, as both of those teams need quarterbacks. The Bears will almost assuredly select Caleb Williams of USC, while the Commanders apparently have circled Jayden Daniels of LSU.

That would give the Patriots the opportunity to pick Drake Maye of North Carolina, as those three quarterbacks have been rated at the top of the draft throughout the offseason. However, Patriots director of scouting and de facto general manager Eliot Wolf indicated last week that New England's No. 3 pick is in play.

There are two schools of thought regarding that statement. The first is that Wolf is inviting other teams to make legitimate offers to the Patriots and hopefully create a bidding war for that pick. The other thought is that they may like another quarterback that they can select later in the first round.

Patriots want to maximize their position

Since they do want a quarterback, it appears that holding on to the No. 3 pick would be advantageous. They could select Drake Maye of North Carolina or J.J. McCarthy of Michigan with that pick.

But Wolf would love to make a big splash in his first opportunity to run New England's draft. If he could get his quarterback of choice and acquire additional first-round picks, that would make this a very notable achievement after taking the reins from the legendary Bill Belichick.

Wolf and first-year head coach Jerod Mayo are interested in building an offense that would get the franchise back into contention for a playoff spot. The key is selecting a dynamic quarterback, but if another team is willing to make an unprecedented deal, a trade would be considered.

Vikings could be possible trade partner for Patriots

When Wolf made his announcement that the No. 3 pick was in play, several observers thought it was a call for the Minnesota Vikings to make an offer to New England.

The Vikings have the 11th and 23rd picks in the first round, and that could be enough to get the Patriots to the table to discuss trading the pick. Since the Patriots need a quarterback and could use the No. 3 pick on Maye or McCarthy themselves, it may take more than those two selections to complete the deals.

The discussion process could begin by offering those two picks, but adding in a future first-round selection from the 2025 or 2026 drafts may be needed to complete the deal.

The Pats may need another team besides the Vikings to get involved in making a trade offer. If Minnesota is the only team that is seriously pursuing the No. 3 pick, why would Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah overpay for the spot?

However, if he knows that another team is also willing to make a major offer to entice a deal from the Patriots, Adofo-Mensah may be willing to make that unprecedented offer that would lead to the trade.