The New England Patriots could shock the league by trading up in the 2014 NFL draft.
The Patriots are looking to move up in the first round of the draft to find a top-tier wide receiver, team officials told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman. Head coach Bill Belichick believes a major receiving threat is one of the Patriots’ “main missing ingredients,” Freeman reported Wednesday.
The Patriots have shown interest in first-round prospects Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee and Kelvin Benjamin. Evans should be a top-10 pick, Beckham and Cooks are expected to be drafted between No. 10 and No. 25, and Lee and Benjamin still could be available when the Patriots pick at No. 29.
The Patriots drafted wide receiver Aaron Dobson in the second round and Josh Boyce in the fourth round of the draft last year. They also picked up undrafted receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who began the 2013 season as a starter, as a free agent.
Earlier this month, I mentioned the possibility that the Patriots could trade up for a wide receiver. It would be difficult to trade up for Evans, but Beckham or Lee would make sense in the Patriots’ offense. A league source told me that the Patriots showed a lot of interest in Lee at February’s NFL Scouting Combine.