How Sammy Watkins goes to Patriots


Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors swirl on the day before NFL Draft. It can be the most exciting day of the year. Draft picks are like unopened presents. Altanta Falcons fans can still entertain the possibility of selecting Jadaveon Clowney. So can every team’s fans. The Patriots lack a receiver with both elite athleticism and intelligence. Sammy Watkins fits the bill better than any prospect since Calvin Johnson. And as the minutes count down to the draft, so do the moments Patriots fans have to imagine who they’ll get. So let’s dream for a little longer — shall we?

If the Patriots had any hopes of packaging a trade for a prized target Sammy Watkins, they would need him to fall to the fifth selection. At that point, the Patriots could use the trade value scale as a guideline to put together an offer that the Raiders couldn’t refuse.

For the fifth pick overall, the Patriots would trade selections 29, 62, and 93 in this year’s draft and a second and third in next year’s. It’s a blockbuster for the ages, maybe bigger than the Julio Jones and Robert Griffin III trades. But Sammy Watkins will provide an immediate impact and could be Tom Brady’s favorite target for the next five years (the standard length of a rookie contract, including the fifth-year option), which coincidentally, might be around the time that Brady might retire.

It is worth considering, however, what the Patriots might get in return for a less sexy trade scenario where they trade back. In ESPN’s NFL Nations mock draft, beat reporters were allowed trades and forced to act like the teams they cover. The Patriots beat reporter Mike Reiss received two offers to trade out of the first round. The Patriots could trade the 29th pick to the Jaguars for second round (39th), fourth round (114th), fifth round (150th) and seventh round (222nd) picks. Or, they could trade it to the Vikings for second round (40th), third round (96th) and fifth round (141st) picks.

So the Patriots could trade five selections for Sammy Watkins, or they could trade their first rounder for three or perhaps four selections. Hey, I said how he could go to the Patriots, not that he would.