- The New England Patriots have four draft picks in the first two rounds, setting them up for a potential big move.
- Some think the Patriots could package those picks to move up in the draft and select one of the top quarterbacks as a future replacement for Tom Brady.
- While the Patriots have needs at several positions, this year’s deep draft may be the best time to make a move for a future quarterback.
The New England Patriots agreed to a blockbuster trade on Tuesday, sending wide receiver Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for first-round and sixth-round draft picks.
The move has ramifications and side-effects for both parties, but perhaps the most significant takeaway is the Patriots are now loaded with draft picks this season.
The Patriots now own two first-round picks (theirs and the Rams’), two second-round picks (theirs and the San Francisco 49ers’), and a third-round pick.
This treasure trove has many thinking that the Patriots could be in prime position to move up in the draft to fill perhaps the most prominent hole on their roster: a replacement for Tom Brady.
When the Patriots dealt Jimmy Garoppolo last season, they lost their replacement for Brady. This offseason, team owner Robert Kraft said that the Patriots need to look for a quarterback in the draft, and with Brady turning 41 in August, they may need to put that plan into action.
Depending on who the Patriots like in this year’s class of quarterbacks, the price may vary. If the Patriots value one of the top quarterbacks, the cost may be extremely high to move up because four of the first five picks in the draft may be quarterbacks. The New York Jets gave the Indianapolis Colts four picks in March to move up three spots in this year’s draft.
CBS’s Jason La Canfora reported that one source close to the Patriots would not be surprised to see them move up to get a quarterback.
The Patriots could dangle a package of draft picks in hopes of landing the New York Giants’ second pick, the Cleveland Browns’ fourth pick, or the Denver Broncos’ fifth pick. If Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson falls out of the top 10, the Patriots could also make a move up to draft him, and it would likely cost less than trying to move to the top of the draft.
The Patriots may have competition, however. The Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals both have needs at quarterback and are reportedly eyeing QBs in the draft and possible trades to move up in the order. The Giants and Browns, both of whom have multiple needs, could start a bidding war for one of the top picks.
Of course, the Patriots being the Patriots, they could move in another direction altogether. Some have suggested they could be loading up picks to target Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., although ESPN’s Adam Schefter downplayed the idea.
The Patriots also lost top offensive lineman Nate Solder this offseason, so they could move up in the draft to take an offensive lineman. Last year, the Patriots pass rush was also lacking, so perhaps they’d like to snag a defensive player higher in the draft.
In an offseason where the Patriots lost some key cogs to free agency, Bill Belichick and company have quietly set themselves up to make big moves to re-tool.