Patriots: Best first-round options for New England in 2021 NFL Draft
By Mark Dhooge
Patriots Draft Option: Trading Down
Looking back at past drafts, you have to think trading down to gather more picks is the most likely option. But as this offseason has shown, anything and everything is on the table.
The Patriots do have a gap between their 46th and 96th picks they could potentially fill by trading out of the 15th spot. Who’s going to trade up to 15? Let’s hypothetically choose New Orleans, who have a decent trade relationship with the Patriots.
Hypothetical Trade (using the chart)
Is this trade going to happen? Highly doubtful. But it does give you an idea of what the Patriots could potentially get if they do want to trade back in the first round.
Will we see the Pats trade back and fill the gap between their second-round and third-round picks? And if they do, who could they target late in the first round?
Virginia Tech DB Caleb Farley is a player to monitor as we get closer to the draft. He recently underwent a back procedure that caused him to miss his pro day. While reports say he’ll be ready for training camp, it could cause him to fall on draft day.
If Farley’s available later in the first round, he could prove to be a steal for the Patriots while also adding some youth to the position amid Stephon Gilmore’s contract uncertainties. Also, the depth the Pats have at cornerback could allow Farley to fully heal from his procedure and learn from some of the best in the business.
Miami’s Jaelan Phillips is another player that could wind up in Foxboro. Belichick was at Miami’s pro day and has targeted former 5-star recruits in the past. At 6-5 and 255 pounds, Phillips has the size the Patriots usually look for in an edge rusher.