Patriots Could Trade Up For Wide Receiver In First Round Of NFL Draft (Mailbag)


Apr 5, 2014

Odell Beckham MailbagThe New England Patriots have so many needs to address in the 2014 NFL draft that it’s difficult to sort out what the team might do first.

The Patriots could use a successor to Tom Brady at quarterback, not to mention a running back, wide receiver, tight end, guard, center, pass rusher, defensive tackle, cover linebacker and safety. The Patriots appear set at cornerback, but Darrelle Revis only signed a one-year contract.

Nothing should come as a surprise when it’s the Patriots’ turn to draft in the first round May 8, and that includes a trade up or down. Check out how the Patriots can address their need at quarterback in this week’s mailbag.

Could Teddy Bridgewater still be around by the Patriots’ first-round pick?

He definitely could be around at the end of the first round. He could even fall to the second round. A year ago, no one expected Geno Smith to last until pick No. 39, and no one thought Matt Barkley would fall to the fourth round.

I think the Patriots have other big needs, but taking a quarterback in the first round wouldn’t be the worst decision. It was smart for the Green Bay Packers to select Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 draft, even with Brett Favre sticking around for another three years. Head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels understand the importance of having a great quarterback.

Is there any chance the Patriots draft a quarterback later in the draft like AJ McCarron or Connor Shaw?

There’s a better chance the Patriots take a player like McCarron or Shaw than there is that they draft a first-round option such as Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel.

In 2011, when the Patriots drafted Ryan Mallett, they had shown interest in Jake Locker, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton. The fact that they’re looking at quarterbacks this offseason means they’re interested in drafting one.

How is Rob Gronkowski’s rehab going ?

What woudl you do with the Patriots’ first round pick, trade up, down, or make a selection at No. 29? Who would you take in all scenarios?

The way the board is setting up, it might make the most sense for the Patriots to trade back in the draft. Draft experts’ rankings might not accurately predict how the chips fall, but there always are plenty of options left for the Patriots in mock drafts. And this draft is so deep that an extra second- or third-round pick could be valuable.

If the Patriots trade up, it could be for a wide receiver like Marqise Lee. There’s a lot of interest there, but the USC wideout might come off the board too early for the Patriots to stay put and still get him. LSU wideout Odell Beckham is another candidate for a trade up.

If the Patriots stay at No. 29, they could take linebacker Ryan Shazier or pass rusher Dee Ford if they’re available. The Patriots have the luxury that they could take a pass rusher or cover linebacker. Second-year pro Jamie Collins can fill the other need.

If the Patriots trade back, it could be for a defensive lineman like Stephon Tuitt or Ra’Shede Hageman or a tight end such as Troy Niklas, Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jace Amaro.

The Patriots have plenty of needs, and if they believe they can get their player at the top of the second round, and if there’s an offer on the table, they’ll take it.

Would the Patriots bring Chris Johnson in?

His playing style is a fit, but his personality isn’t prototypical for the Patriots. He certainly would add to the Patriots’ backfield, however.

It seems like the Patriots are more interested in adding a low-cost option, and Johnson probably will be too expensive. It’s not smart to count out anything for the Patriots, but Johnson seems unlikely to land in New England.

Drafting a running back would be much more cost-effective and better for the Patriots’ future plans.

Do you think the same Patriots offensive line will play any better in Denver? If they don’t upgrade the line, will it come back to haunt them?

The Patriots can survive with their current offensive line. Don’t forget that Sebastian Vollmer wasn’t on the field when the Patriots played the Denver Broncos.

I expect the Patriots to draft a guard or center, but it might not come until the third or fourth round.

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