Potential draft shakeup could dictate Patriots first round pick

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Once the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft was finalized, there was a unanimous belief of how the first three picks would go because they all had something in common: they all needed a new quarterback.

Once that was clear, which player those teams would take began to become a debate, with the consensus being that USC's Caleb Williams would be first off the board, going to the Bears, who held the first overall pick courtesy of the Panthers.

Who is the second-best quarterback has varied in the weeks since the draft order was revealed, with North Carolina's Drake Maye holding the title for much of the time. But LSU's Jayden Daniels has seemingly taken that spot in recent weeks and is now connected to the Commanders as their likeliest first-round pick.

Daniels had been the favorite for the Patriots for several weeks, but that has now reverted to Maye again or even switched to them taking Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. instead. But this all remains speculative at this point and the results of the Combine will surely change the rankings and guesses by experts.

And yet something may already be changing, at least according to longtime writer Peter King.

Chatter about a Bears possible trade could dictate who the Patriots draft with pick No. 3

In King's farewell article published earlier this week, he seemed to drop a bombshell that caught many by surprise more than his retirement announcement.

He casually revealed that Chicago would be trading the first overall pick, which has not been even remotely discussed so far this offseason, yet followed that up by stating he hasn't been told that by anyone close to the situation.

"I suppose the Bears are going to trade the top pick. I know nothing, but that seems to be the way the wind is blowing."

It seems like a dramatic way to go out, especially if he hasn't been explicitly told the Bears have actually had conversations about trading out. However, the assumption is that he must have heard something because why bother saying anything at all if you hadn't, right?

If there is any truth to it, and it becomes a reality on draft night, that could be a drastic shift in the Patriots' plans for their pick just two selections later. Clearly, the team willing to trade everything but the kitchen sink to take the first overall pick from the Bears would be doing so for a quarterback.

But it's hard to say which one it would be.

The Patriots could feel safe with who they want and assume he will still be on the board by the time they're on the clock, only for a team to trade up and take him first overall instead. That would shock the entire league and could ultimately dictate how the rest of the first round goes.

Of course, teams have to expect the unexpected before and on draft night, so it's not like this would be something that had never been done before. But it could force the Patriots to scramble and decide a new plan if who they had their eyes on ends up off the board.

It could work in their favor, or it could work against them; we won't know until if or when it happens.

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