The New England Patriots are quite literally playing a game of limbo, and it could go either way in tonight’s NFL draft. Since Tom Brady and Robert Gronkowski have left the Patriots, the team has fallen apart as a whole. Multiple defensive stars left (and came back if you’re Kyle Van Noy), star players like Julian Edelman retired, and all twenty two positions feel like they could use an upgrade at the moment, the question is, will it be attacked in the draft? Every possible move has been rumored, trading the pick, trading up, down, taking a quarterback, wide receiver, lineman, everything but the kitchen sink has been rumored for New England it seems. I want to dissect three directions New England could go with this pick, so tighten your seatbelts because the Patriots rebuild to a dynasty is back underway regardless.
- Option One: Trading Up
If the Patriots do end up trading up, I think the obvious choice is to pick the quarterback of the future. QB’s like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields are all predicted in the top ten, so the Patriots trading up would only be to grab a quarterback. I could realistically see them trading with Denver for the ninth overall pick, and whether it be Justin Fields or Trey Lance, it’d be a smart pick. Justin Fields is perfect to start his career under former MVP Cam Newton, a fellow mobile QB in the NFL. Justin Fields being a bench QB for the first 4-9 games would most likely happen, and the Justin Fields project would give him all the time in the world to get ready, and if Cam Newton has an incredible season, then we have another Jimmy G situation in which we have an incredible backup quarterback, but this time around we’d keep him. This pick would remind me of what the Packers did this year, just with a worse starting quarterback. Jordan Love was selected in case they either traded, lost, or moved on from Aaron Rodgers, and A-Rod took the challenge. After having to compete for his spot for the first time in years, Aaron won MVP this past season and was one game away from making the Super Bowl. I feel like trading up for Justin Fields would be amazing for the Patriots future at one of their more glaring positions.
- Option Two: Staying at Fifteen
Depending on who is available at fifteen, I could easily see the Patriots keeping this pick. If either player I just mentioned in either Justin Fields or Trey Lance drop, they’re the obvious pick, but the odds of that happening are slim to none. If DeVonta Smith is available, the Patriots must take him with their pick. It’s tough to say where Heisman Trophy Winner Wide Receiver will land, but the Patriots would use him beautifully. Bill has a bad track record the last five years with first round receiver picks, but DeVonta would feel like steal here. Now if Philadelphia takes DeVonta like I predict, the Patriots should still target the quarterback position with a riskier selection, being Mac Jones. Everyone’s argument is, “What Alabama quarterback does anything in the NFL?” and to that I say Mac Jones will be the first. Mac Jones was loaded with talent around him, and joining the illustrious rebuilding young Patriots would be putting him back in that position to win. Mac Jones is certainly a risky pick, but I have him starting over Cam Newton, who may still have trade value. The only other option at fifteen I could see is addressing the aging defense issue they have had as of late. A player such as Micah Parsons, Linebacker out of Penn State, would add to a defense we are trying to make younger and better.
- Option Three: Trade Down
Unless Bill sees a late round gem to pick with one of our big needs, this one doesn’t seem feasible, but hey, it is Bill Belichick we’re talking about. Trading down for a pick in the 20’s and getting an early second rounder may be the move, especially if we are keeping Cam regardless and not drafting a quarterback, something I do not expect. Night one of the NFL Draft starts tonight at 8 PM EST, and I can not wait to see what the Patriots do in regards to their future. The NFL’s sanctity is in Bill’s hands, but will a new dynasty start tonight? Hope you enjoyed reading, Shaney out.