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Former NFL exec says Patriots wanted this rookie WR ‘badly’

The New England Patriots are believed to have wanted to move back up the board late in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Former NFL executive and Patriots assistant Michael Lombardi appeared on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday and claimed New England was initially interested in trading up to No. 28 on the draft board with the Buffalo Bills.

However, the Bills passed up their trade offer for a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Per Lombardi, the Patriots had their sights on Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who was ultimately taken by the Chiefs.

“[Buffalo] had an opportunity to take a deal from New England. New England was in high-speed pursuit of Worthy,” said Lombardi. “They wanted Worthy badly. They were making calls to get that pick, and Buffalo had them on the phone.

“And so was Kansas City. I think if you’re [Bills general manager] Brandon Beane, you have to sit there and say, ‘Yeah, maybe Kansas City offered me a lot more. But why would I give Worthy to them, who’s a weapon—who could become the next Tyreek Hill for them? …Why am I doing anything to help the Chiefs, especially since I lost to them with 13 seconds, since I missed a 44-yard field goal to send a game into overtime. Like, I haven’t been able to get through that door.”

Worthy is an explosive playmaker who set a new 40-yard dash record at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. His speed was the top selling point, and it would make sense that a Patriots team initially lacking in explosive talent would have been interested in making that move on draft night.

With that said, there have been speedy talents in the past that haven’t quite lived up to the hype. So time will tell if the Patriots are worse or better off for not getting that pick.

The career trajectories of rookies Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker should also be factored into the equation. If one or even both of those players take off, it’ll turn this proposed trade into a distant memory.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire