FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday morning he has fielded “a pretty decent number of inquiries” about the team’s three second-round draft picks. He called them preliminary trade discussions, but Belichick was well aware of the Patriots’ flexibility at the top of the draft.
“We’ve already received a few calls relative to our second-round picks, teams that are interested in those for one reason or another,” Belichick said. “That isn’t surprising to me. I’m not saying anything will or won’t happen. I think that’s pretty common at this point in the process about a week or so before the draft, where you start to talk to teams and try to get a feel for whether they would or wouldn’t be interested in moving a particular pick just so that expedites the process when you get to draft day.”
With only a few minutes to make each pick, Belichick said there is always a good chunk of trade talk before the start of the draft. The Patriots made seven trades during draft weekend in 2009, so they are certainly adept at this process. These pre-draft calls are fairly generic, focusing on a team’s overall interest in moving that pick rather than discussing specific deals.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunities,” Belichick said. “Having four picks in the first two rounds certainly gives us the flexibility to move from where we’re at if we feel that’s the right thing to do. Or, I’m sure if we pick four players at those positions, we should get four good, quality guys.”
The Patriots have four of the draft’s top-53 selections (Nos. 22, 44, 47 and 53), which is more than any team in the league. Yet, they don’t have a pick in the third or fifth rounds, so the Patriots might also be intrigued with the possibilities of moving down the board. Either way, they’re set up to do almost whatever they’d like.
“Would it be nice to have a third-round pick?” Belichick said. “It would. Could we get one if we wanted one? I’m sure we could. I’m sure we could be in almost any point in the draft that we wanted to be at based on where we are. We’re the only team that has the number of picks that we have in the first two rounds there, so I think our flexibility to move up in the first round or to be at any point in the draft if we feel that’s a good place to be, I think we’ll be able to get there.”
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