For most of the 2023 season, because the Patriots had been losing so many games, they had remained in the top-3 picks of the upcoming NFL draft. That became the silver lining of another disappointing season for fans, especially with some top quarterback talent available in this year's class.
Their positioning has changed slightly in recent weeks due to wins over the Steelers and Broncos. But after losing to the Bills in Week 17 and the Cardinals unexpectedly beating the Eagles, New England has once again moved up into the third overall position. And according to ESPN analytics, their chances of remaining there are much better than they could have been.
According to writer Seth Walder, the Patriots have a 64% chance of staying in the top three selections in the first round. With just one game left to be played in the regular season, it's almost certain that won't change much, no matter how they fare against the Jets on Sunday.
Losing would guarantee they stay atop the draft board, but do we really believe a Bill Belichick-coached team in what could be his final game in New England will lose to the Jets?
There's no chance.
Although having a top 3 pick is a great place to be in for the Patriots, there's a rumor suggesting they may be interested in trading with the Bears to acquire the first overall pick. Jeremy Fowler and Courtney Cronin revealed that tidbit in a piece published by ESPN on Tuesday morning, although they didn't specifically name-drop the Patriots to be involved in the chatter.
“A number of teams, including those that lose out on this week’s No. 2 derby, could have interest in trading for Chicago’s top selection.”
Considering they're a team that may have lost their chance at moving higher than the third pick, it's fair to assume the Patriots are apart of the rumors Cronin and Fowler were alluding to.
Should the Patriots go all-out with a trade for the No. 1 pick?
It's hard to say if this would be a good move because we need to know if they are seriously considering a quarterback with their first pick. It's presumed they will, but if Bill Belichick remains the team's general manager, drafting an offensive lineman or trading out their pick isn't off the table.
On top of that, we have no clue of what quarterback they may be taking a liking to. The favorites to be the first off the board are Drake Maye and Caleb Williams, with Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. trending up in recent weeks. If they believe one of those guys is right, trading up isn't a bad idea.
The main issue would be the cost to do so.
Trading up to the first pick or even in the top 3 is never inexpensive. Generally, a team must give up everything, including the kitchen sink, to acquire that coveted draft position. Maybe that wouldn't be the case for the Patriots, who will likely finish in the top 3 anyway.
But if the decision to move up is set in stone, they'll have to give up a boatload of picks and maybe some players for the Bears to be at all interested.