The New England Patriots need a tight end in 2020, and ESPN’s latest mock NFL Draft has them trading with the New York Giants for a veteran presence to address the need.
It might not be a rebuilding year for the New England Patriots in 2020, but there’s a lot of reconstruction and retooling to be done by head coach Bill Belichick and Co.
From quarterback, wide receiver, tight end and the defensive line, Belichick will have to be careful with how he goes about addressing the team needs while keeping the Patriots in contention for top spot in an ever-changing AFC East heading towards the regular season.
New England currently owns the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, which is the first of 12 selections at his disposal. But 11 of those come in Round 3 or later, meaning the reliance on proverbial “hidden gem” finds is going to be crucial.
Unless the Pats trade out of their first-round pick.
This is the scenario ESPN’s Bill Barnwell put together in his latest mock draft, which just so happens to be laden with trades. And as far as New England’s move, he has the Patriots making a deal with the New York Giants, which includes grabbing veteran tight end Evan Engram.
Here’s what Barnwell had to say about the proposed deal:
"Let’s get the Patriots the tight end they desperately need after losing Rob Gronkowski a year ago. Engram isn’t Gronk, but his versatility and burst as a receiver is levels beyond anything else the Patriots have. He is also under contract for 2020 at just $3.4 million, which is a nice plus for a New England team that is hurting for cap space.The Dave Gettleman regime didn’t draft Engram, and given the Giants general manager’s emphasis on building around the running game and getting rid of the players acquired by former GM Jerry Reese, it’s fair to say Engram sticks out as a possible trade candidate."
When looking at trades, it’s always crucial to understand how it benefits both sides (unless you’re head coach Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans).
New York needs all kinds of help along its offensive line. And despite owning the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, another selection later in Round 1 would help shore up this need a lot.
Especially considering this year’s draft class is awfully topheavy in O-line talent.
For New England, grabbing a fourth-year player who still has the fifth-year option in play for 2021 is a bonus. Engram hasn’t emerged as the dynamic pass-catching threat at the position many thought he’d be, and injuries have played a crucial role here. But there’s no doubting Engram would be an upgrade over anything the Patriots currently have at the position.
The NFL Draft is also pretty thin at tight end, too.
The move essentially requires pick swaps between Rounds 1 and 2, and then again between Rounds 3 and 4, for it to happen and the Pats to improve this position. If Belichick wants to grab a wide receiver to bolster that need, there are going to be some quality options available at No. 36 overall.
And there isn’t exactly a huge difference between the picks in Rounds 3 and 4, either.
The 2020 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 23.