2. Moving up to grab Trent McDuffie
While the top two cornerbacks in the draft appear to be in a tier all their own, McDuffie is starting to pull away and establish himself as the clear No. 3 cornerback in this class. Unfortunately for New England, the middle of the first round is full of cornerback-needy teams who could take him.
Washington and Minnesota could take a DB at No. 11 or No. 12, and Philadelphia will get two chances to bring him to town. Belichick has enough capital to move up and take McDuffie, who allowed the fewest yards in his coverage of any receiver in the country last season.
Trent McDuffie could be a solid JC Jackson replacement.
McDuffie might seem undersized, but smaller cornerbacks have repeatedly thrived in Bill Belichick’s defense if they have the effort and man coverage technique needed to last in the NFL. McDuffie’s college production is so absurd that he blew teammate and potential first-rounder Kyler Gordon out of the water as a prospect.
McDuffie would be a substantial upgrade on what the Patriots have already, and they wouldn’t need to completely tear apart their draft stockpile to acquire him. Being passive in this area could leave Belichick with the short end of the stick as the Patriots take someone who won’t be as effective.