Most signs point to the Patriots using their highest draft pick in decades on a quarterback. And that’s how it should be in New England, where the franchise is severely lacking at the NFL’s most premium position.

However, the Patriots’ first-round draft approach might have been different had the organization not made significant changes over the offseason.

In a column published Wednesday morning, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini shed light on how New England likely would’ve used the No. 3 pick if Jerod Mayo’s and Eliot Wolf’s roles still were occupied by Bill Belichick.

“If this was still Bill Belichick running the Patriots, I’m told he would probably trade down and get more picks — see the Texans — but this is not those Patriots anymore,” Russini wrote.

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Russini’s note isn’t much of a shocker. Belichick loved the draft strategy of trading down to acquire more capital but staying in range to select a highly valued player. Ironically enough, Mayo — the Patriots’ highest-drafted player in the last 20 years — landed in New England at No. 10 overall in 2008 after Belichick and company traded down from No. 7.

But as Russini mentioned, these are different times in Foxboro, Mass. Mayo, Wolf and Patriots ownership appear to be on the same page about not overcomplicating the draft and using their highest pick on the most pressing area of need.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

We’ve already seen changes at One Patriot Place since Belichick’s departure, including candor with the media. That trend figures to continue this week in Detroit.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images