Eliot Wolf, who will have final say on draft night, will serve as the de facto general manager of the New England Patriots during the 2024 NFL Draft.

Wolf might even be the clear favorite to land the job when owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft officially name the successor of Bill Belichick’s personnel duties. The plan is for them to do that sometime after the three-day event, which is a bit perplexing in itself.

But, again, Wolf doesn’t yet have the job. And what he does in late April, the organization’s most important draft in more than two decades, undoubtedly will go a long way.

Want to know the easiest way for Wolf to solidify his standing? Make the boss man happy.

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Boss man wants a quarterback.

“One way or another, I’d like to see us get a top-rate quarterback,” Robert Kraft told reporters during the annual league meeting in Orlando.

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It might make for a tricky situation for Wolf.

While Kraft said he would be open to whatever first-year head coach Jerod Mayo and Wolf feel is best, the “top-rate quarterback” sentiment carries a lot weight. Quarterbacks who fit the “top-rate” criteria are commonly found in the first round, and most of the time at the top of the board. Wolf himself said most teams with enviable quarterback situations drafted those signal-callers in the first round.

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So imagine the reaction from Kraft, specifically, if Wolf doesn’t select a quarterback when the Patriots are on the clock at No. 3. It would be like going into an interview and spitting in the interviewer’s coffee. Spoiler alert: You’re not getting that job with the generous salary and unlimited PTO.

But what if the quarterbacks who fall past the Washington Commanders — likely to be a two-man combination of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy — don’t elicit confidence from Wolf? What if Wolf isn’t sold on either of the two? What if he thinks, at that point, it would be best for the Patriots to trade down and draft an offensive tackle and receiver with high-end talent? Would Wolf make that trade down knowing Kraft was seeking a top-rate quarterback? Or would he select the signal-caller to make the boss man happy, despite the fact he doesn’t believe it was the best thing for the team?

That would make for an unenviable situation.

Wolf has been around the league long enough to know the weight that decision holds. He knows if he were to trade back and miss or stay put and miss, he would be out of his first GM job within a few years — and that’s if he is named GM.

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Then again, maybe it won’t be tricky after all.

If Wolf is aligned with ownership on the need for a quarterback, which he seemingly is, and if he feels strongly about three or more quarterbacks in the class, which he seemingly does, then his draft-night decision might not be as difficult. He would simply select one of the two QBs who slip past the Commanders — again, Daniels, Maye or McCarthy. Then pray he made the right decision.

But at least in the short-term, it would be decision the boss man would be behind.

Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images