Patriots Apparently Asked Coordinator Candidates This “Big Question”
2023 season was an absolute nightmare for the Patriots, but there was a silver lining to the franchise’s worst campaign in decades.
By finishing with a 4-13 record, New England took control of the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Landing the franchise’s highest draft selection since 1993 came at an opportune time for Robert Kraft and company, as there is a trio of quarterbacks in this year’s class who carry superstar potential.
And with the Patriots in position to grab one of those signal-caller prospects, there reportedly was a clear emphasis on the draft when the team held interviews for its offensive coordinator position.
“The Patriots sit at No. 3 and all indications are they also will seriously consider taking a quarterback there,” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said on “NFL GameDay.” “In fact, one of the big questions when they were interviewing offensive coordinator candidates was, ‘What is your evaluation of those top quarterbacks?’ They end up hiring Alex Van Pelt, who’s going to play a major role in developing whoever that young quarterback potentially could be. The question is: Will the guy the Patriots want actually slide to them?”
The question Pelissero mentioned is a fascinating one, as New England theoretically could be pushed into a blockbuster trade if it’s disenchanted by who’s available at No. 3. And there reportedly are at least two teams that could be eager to move up the board.
That said, Jonathan Kraft reportedly wants the Patriots to use the coveted pick on a quarterback and the longtime team president apparently will have a strong influence on the selection
Two days after bringing Dont’a Hightower on board to coach linebackers, the New England Patriots have hired another assistant to work with the position group.
Drew Wilkins, who spent the 2023 season with the New York Giants, will join the club as its outside linebackers coach. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was first to report the move.
Wilkins, 36, started his career as a student assistant coach at his alma mater, Maryland, before making the jump to the NFL in 2010. He spent the first 12 years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, filling various roles on the team’s support and coaching staffs.
After starting out as a member of the video staff as well as a staff coordinator, he made the jump to coaching in 2014 as a defensive assistant. By 2017, he was promoted to assistant defensive line coach and also added coaching outside linebackers to his responsibilities the following year.
In 2020 and 2021, he solely worked with the Ravens’ OLBs before following defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale to the Giants in 2022. After two years holding the same title he previously had in Baltimore, Wilkins was fired earlier last month in the aftermath of Martindale’s departure from the organization.