There have been rumors surrounding the New England Patriots about a potential trade of quarterback Mac Jones during the first round to draft one of the top quarterbacks in the Draft they feel can propel New England further than Jones can.
The Patriots hosted a Top-30 visit with Will Levis in addition to already meeting with him at the NFL Combine. This visit to Gillette Stadium allowed the Patriots to get a closer look at Levis and do some of the things they’d like to see so that they can do their due diligence on the top quarterback prospect.
Since their recent visit with the potential Top-10 draft pick, various reports suggest the Patriots are extremely high on Levis, proving the pre-draft visit went well. However, another report suggests the Patriots weren’t impressed at all with what Levis showcased for them.
"“A Patriots source confirmed the multiple reports that Kentucky quarterback Will Levis met with the team for a top-30 visit. While Levis had a strong interview in New England, he didn’t wow team executives to a level where they are prepared to select him at No. 14 overall and trigger a massive shift in their quarterback plans.”-Henry McKenna, FOX Sports“There is real interest in QB Will Levis from the Patriots. Not universally, but there are important folks in that building that believe in the talent. What I’ve heard about his visit from other stops… he hasn’t blown anyone away.”- Mike Giardi"
The way I see it, New England had a few questions about Levis that they wanted to be answered before the Draft, so they brought him in for a workout, and what better way to get information than going directly to the player and finding out yourself?
I would then lean towards they weren’t all that impressed with Levis because although the reports contradict one another regarding the Pats, the intel that he hasn’t “wowed” or “blown anyone away” is true in both reports.
It seems like the Patriots were only intrigued with Levis.
The other potential quarterback the Patriots could realistically make a move for in the Draft is Hendon Hooker.
Hooker has looked like a second-round projection leading up to the week of the Draft, as his stock is suddenly rising ahead of the start of tonight’s Draft. He’s poised to be a franchise-altering player and one that Bill Belichick might not want to miss out on after passing by Lamar Jackson twice in the 2018 NFL Draft. As a result, there’s a solid chance Hooker drops to the second round, and New England could draft him with their 46th overall pick.
He has a lot of qualities that the Patriots enjoy from the quarterback position, which I outlined in a previous article. If he’s available in the first round at 14th overall or in the second round at 46, it will be extremely challenging for the Patriots to pass on a player of his caliber. However, we did see it with Jackson in 2018.
If trading Jones is really going to happen, don’t be surprised if it’s for a veteran quarterback who’s already solidified himself in the league. I’m unsure of the current situation with Jackson in Baltimore, but one thing remains certain; he still wants to be traded, even after they signed OBJ in the offseason.
It leads us to wonder if Belichick is somehow working on a deal to trade Jones to the Ravens in exchange for Jones and assets.
The Ravens currently have the 22nd overall pick in tonight’s Draft. So it’s unlikely they’d be willing to do Jones and a first-round pick swap in this year’s Draft, but it’s worth noting that the Green Bay Packers just traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets essentially for pennies.
I don’t find it farfetched to think there’s a world where Belichick could complete a Jones-for-Jackson trade. However, if the Patriots were to trade for Jackson, they wouldn’t need to be drafting Henderson, certainly not reaching to do so anyway.
Other teams the Patriots could potentially trade with to move up in the Daft (not necessarily related to trading Jones) are the Houston Texans, who have two of the first 12 picks (2nd and 12th overall). And the Chicago Bears, currently slotted at ninth overall, have been rumored to want to trade down.
Although it’s against the norm, perhaps the Pats will look into what it’ll take to move up a few spots, and these are two easy paths to do so.
This will be one of the wildest NFL Drafts we’ve had in years. But it’s going to be great.