NFL Draft week kicked off with Ian Rapoport’s Monday morning report indicated that the San Francisco 49ers are likely not considering taking Justin Fields with the third overall pick. When Tom Pelissero followed up by saying the Patriots would be interested in Fields if he falls, all attention turned to a potential Patriots trade-up scenario.
However, the first round isn’t the only spot the Patriots may look to move up. According to Mike Giardi, “there is a strong belief in certain circles league-wide” that the Patriots will attempt to trade up and ease their scheduled 50 pick gap between the 46th and 96th selections.
The Patriots lost their original third-round pick – 77th overall – due to last year’s alleged illegal video taping of the Cincinnati sideline. Meanwhile, the 96th pick sits towards the end of the third round as a compensation pick received for losing Tom Brady in free agency.
Scheduled to make 10 picks this year, and with 76 players on their 90-man roster, it would make sense for the Patriots to consolidate some of their selections to either move up in the draft, or acquire future assets. Keep in mind the team has added anywhere from 10 to 18 undrafted free agents in each of the last five years. While the total number might not be quite as high this season, they’ll still likely want to open up spots.
Most years, Patriots draft trade conversations are based on them trading down, spreading out their assets, and bolstering their future draft stock. Yet in a year that’s unique for many reasons, the feeling seems to be when – not if – will they make a trade to move up.
So who could be on the Patriots’ radar in the second and third round? Here’s a look at our own big board for Friday, which includes options at wide receiver, tackle, cornerback, safety, and linebacker.
For more NFL Draft coverage check out the Patriots Draft Hub
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.