The New England Patriots selected top cornerback Christian Gonzalez with the 17th overall pick after trading down from 14 in a swap with the Pittsburgh Steelers that also landed them an additional pick in the fourth round, 120th overall.
Rumors are starting to float around ahead of the second round that New England would like to trade up, and they have enough draft capital to pull it off in any upcoming round on Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft.
New England has 11 remaining selections, with four in the fourth and sixth rounds each. Ideally, the Patriots would package a combination of picks between the two rounds to propel themselves back into the second and third rounds with additional picks.
By doing so, the Patriots would have a greater opportunity at landing a second-tier wide receiver, a high-end offensive tackle, and perhaps one of the top tight ends in the draft. If done right, the Patriots can leave Day 2 of the draft with legitimate talent in their arsenal.
Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald suggests that the Patriots have enough capital in the fourth and sixth rounds to land them multiple picks in the second round.
The Pats currently do not have a fifth-round pick, as it was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for Shaun Wade. However, they have a seventh-round pick from Atlanta when they traded Jonnu Smith, as their own seventh-round pick went to the Las Vegas Raiders with Jarrett Stidham.
If the Patriots can package a combination of fourth and sixth-round picks to move up in the draft and give them multiple second or third-round picks in exchange, then I don’t see a world where Bill Belichick doesn’t make that trade happen.
There are multiple paths for the Patriots to follow if they do obtain more picks in the second round. It also opens the window of potentially pulling the trigger on drafting quarterback Hendon Hooker, who’s poised to be a franchise-altering player. But targeting a wide receiver or offensive tackle seems to be the next move for New England.
It would be great to see the Patriots trade back into the second round and show the fans that they’re truly invested in upgrading the team, as Mr. Kraft’s team-building philosophy has always been on hitting on talent in the draft.
The second round begins tonight at 7 PM and rolls into the third round. After that, we’ll see what the Patriots do, hopefully, a trade-up to acquire a higher pick than they currently hold.