It was obvious things would change around New England following Bill Belichick’s departure, but many have wondered how the Patriots specifically would go about implementing change.

The 2024 NFL Draft, and everything that goes into it, has given us a pretty good look.

The Patriots have preached collaboration under new leadership, with head coach Jerod Mayo and head executive Eliot Wolf leading a group that includes coaches and front-office staff. That’s an obvious difference from when Belichick was running the show, but another is how they’ve changed the workflow of their support staff.

“We changed the grading system,” Wolf told reporters at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, per team-provided video. “It’s a little bit more similar to what we did in Green Bay. The previous Patriots system was more, ‘This is what the role is.’ (The new system) is more value-based. I think it makes it a lot easier for scouts to rate guys and put them in a stack of like, ‘This guy’s the best, this guy’s the worst and everything in between falls into place.’

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“… I just think it in accounts value better and it also makes it easier for the scouts in the fall as well as in the spring to determine where guys will get drafted.”

If you’re into the minutia of scouting, Wolf’s detailing of the process was a pretty good look at how the Patriots might approach the draft in April. It’s also been nice, for all parties, to see that scouts seemingly have hit the ground running.

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“It’s actually been really encouraging,” Wolf said. “The scouts have been really open to it and they’re trying. Some guys have been here for 20 years with the old system, and for me, it’s a lot less about the grading scale. It’s more about the process of determining who the best player for the Patriots is.”

New England will have plenty of opportunities to do that, as they’ll meet with more than 40 prospects during the week at the combine in Indianapolis. It’s one big group project, though the final decision will ultimately come down to Wolf and how he believes he can best maximize the value of the No. 3 pick.

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Featured image via Joshua L. Jones/USA TODAY Sports Images