Patriots Mailbag: Should Baker Mayfield Be Trade-Up Candidate In Draft?

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield

Photo via Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports Images

The New England Patriots had a nearly three-week period of inactivity. It’s safe to say business has picked up in April.

The Patriots traded Brandin Cooks, signed three free agents, now have two first-round picks and there’s talk of trading up in the 2018 NFL Draft for a quarterback.

With lots to discuss, let’s get into this week’s mailbag.

Well played. I actually rewatched “The Office” in like two-and-a-half weeks this offseason. What do I do now other than raise my 7-month-old daughter?

If we assume no more trades (or retirements) happen, how many players on the roster would you count as 100% locks to be on the 53 man roster, no matter who they pick in the draft or sign?
— @carlmarcus97
It’s like you read my mind, Carl. I was thinking about this Wednesday night.

Here’s my list:

QB Tom Brady
RB Rex Burkhead
RB James White
FB James Develin
WR Julian Edelman
WR Chris Hogan
WR Matthew Slater
TE Rob Gronkowski
C David Andrews
OT Marcus Cannon
OT Antonio Garcia
G Shaq Mason
G Joe Thuney
OT LaAdrian Waddle
DT Malcom Brown
DE Adrian Clayborn
DE Trey Flowers
DT Lawrence Guy
DE Derek Rivers
DT Danny Shelton
DE Deatrich Wise
LB Marquis Flowers
LB Dont’a Hightower
LB Kyle Van Noy
LB Brandon King
SS Patrick Chung
SS Nate Ebner
CB Stephon Gilmore
FS Duron Harmon
CB Jonathan Jones
FS Devin McCourty
CB Jason McCourty
CB Eric Rowe
P Ryan Allen
LS Joe Cardona
K Stephen Gostkowski

That’s 36 locks, leaving plenty of room for rookies and roster competition.

I’m also pretty stingy with locks. I’ll have to see Jordan Matthews’ contract to decide if he’s a lock.

Why is it assumed a QB has to come from the draft? When TB retires there maybe a top FA QB that would like to do something that hasn’t been an option for 18 years.
— @Captmike24
Because that’s incredibly risky, pricy and unrealistic. Good quarterbacks don’t hit the open market, and if they do, it’s after they’ve already been franchised multiple times.

The Patriots could either draft a player, groom him and have him learn the system for years on a rookie contract before he takes over the starting job or hope a good quarterback happens to hit free agency when Tom Brady elects to retire, pay him top dollar, competing with other QB-needy teams, and expect him to learn the offense in a single offseason.

I’m going to take the former.

@DougKyed do you think the pats could trade shaq mason. no way they are gonna pay him. they can plug croston or karras. what about mason and 31st for bengals 21st
— @the_ben007
It would never be surprising to see the Patriots trade a player a year before he’s set to hit free agency. But how much can you get in return for a guard? No, really, I have no idea.

If the Patriots can get a decent haul, and if they feel comfortable with Cole Croston, Ted Karras or someone they draft, then maybe. They traded Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins, so anything is possible. I expect Mason to get a huge deal in free agency next offseason.

Has belichick ever had two first round picks
— @patsenforced12
Yes, he has. The Patriots had two first-round picks in 2004, 2007, 2011 and 2012.

In 2004, the Patriots drafted tight end Ben Watson and nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

In 2007, the Patriots selected safety Brandon Meriweather and traded the other pick to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2008 first, which was used to select linebacker Jerod Mayo. The Patriots forfeited their other 2008 first-round pick for Spygate.

In 2011, the Patriots selected Nate Solder with the pick they received in a trade for defensive lineman Richard Seymour. They traded the other pick to the New Orleans Saints for a 2012 first-round pick.

In 2012, the Patriots traded up twice using their two first-round picks. They selected Jones and Hightower.

Mayfield?
— @bballbryan22
I think Mayfield will be really good, and I think the character concerns are overblown. I think it’s completely reasonable to think he’ll mature in the NFL.

If Mayfield starts to drop in the first round, I would not be the least bit surprised if the Patriots traded up to get him. Mayfield is undersized, but he’s the most accurate passer in the draft and he’s a playmaker.

Any good veteran free agents still out there for the patriots?
— @Clevertrevv

I was going to write Jordan Matthews, but then the Patriots actually signed him.

I like the signing a lot.

Who’s a potential trade partner for the Patriots to trade up?
— @pjohnson021
I think the Cleveland Browns (No. 4 overall) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 9 overall) are good places to start. The Detroit Lions at No. 20 overall is another possibility.

Who would your choice be for the Patriots to select among the elite quarterbacks, if given the opportunity to trade up, and why.
— @beaubrady9
Josh Rosen, then Mayfield. Both players rated well in Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, including adjusted completion percentage, under pressure and deep passing.

I also just like the cut of Rosen’s jib.

Mayfield had an 80.6 adjusted completion percentage, which takes out drops, throwaways, batted passes, spikes and plays quarterbacks are hit while throwing. Rosen’s was 75 percent.

Mayfield was unbelievably accurate on deep passes, going 42-of-78 for 1,580 yards with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. Rosen was also solid, going 20-of-49 for 732 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

What’s your take on this? #MailDoug @KevinRDuffy: If Mayfield is available at No. 6 and the Colts are fielding offers for the pick, would the Josh McDaniels situation deter them from making a deal with the Patriots?
— @praalhans
I don’t think it would. I think the bigger problem might be convincing a team like the Indianapolis Colts, 49ers or Browns to move all the way from the top five or 10 into the late 20s.

The rivalry is back on between the Patriots and Colts, and all that, but I think Chris Ballard is mature enough to still do what’s best for his team.

Do You think the pats cud end up with Lamar Jackson without moving up in the first is he slides?
— @DrMocarl
I would be a little surprised if the Patriots drafted Jackson. But I’ve been surprised before.

Jackson did play in a similar offense at Louisville, and the son of former Patriots front-office executive Mike Lombardi, Matt, is a graduate assistant with the Cardinals. So, there’s a connection there.

There’s lots of speculation of a trade up for a QB. Are there any non-QBs you think they could go after with a move up outside of Chubb unexpectedly sliding? Maybe the top LBs (Smith/Edwards)? #MailDoug
— @JFriedman57
I think NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb, Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and cornerback Jaire Alexander are potential fits for a trade-up.

Let’s go rapid fire.

If a tree falls and no one is around does it make a noise?
— @TommyG64010544
Yes, of course it does.

How do you maintain your patience and professionalism in dealing with so many over-reactionary, entitled fans on a daily basis. This particular offseason I’ve found many Pats fans maddening.
— @jspinato8
Patriots fans have been particularly bratty this offseason. I think it’s because they’ve reached the point where they’re actually not used to not winning Super Bowls.

Is UConn women’s basketball bad for the sport
— @DanielVConnolly
For football? Nah.

Are the Patriots really going to move up to get a QB?
— @PlanetWalter
They could. I don’t know if they will, but they certainly could.

With Pats looking at Guice and probably other RBs lately, do you think someone like Royce Freeman could be a potential Patriots target? #MailDoug
— @ChaseDawg2
Royce Freeman, out of Oregon, is a good fit for the Patriots.

Other fits, based on athleticism and measurables, are Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage, Oregon State’s Ryan Nall, N.C. State’s Jaylen Samuels, Northwestern’s Justin Jackson and Texas’ Chris Warren.

How fashionable is David Andrews
— @Ethanhamm
Peachtree Corners-chic.

do you have a favorite coach to talk to/see working @ practice
— @thisryanjackson
Probably running backs coach Ivan Fears. He’s a funny dude.

Who wins the Masters? #MailDoug
— @brian22goodwin
Oh man, that’s a tough one.

Just kidding, I know nothing about golf. I’ll go with Rory McIlroy, though.

The capitalization on McIlroy’s last name is kind of annoying, isn’t it? The upper-case I and lower-case l look far too similar.

Four part, non football question for ya. 1. Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? 2. Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong? 3. Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop? 4. Who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip? Thanks! #MailDoug
— @NealCisme
Huh. Who was that man? I’d really like to shake his hand. Because he made my baby fall in love with me.

Which one of the Patriots beat writers could beat Joey Chestnut in a hot dog eating contest? #MailDoug
— @tdf512
First of all, no one. Chestnut is a freak.

Second, I actually want to see how many hot dogs I can eat in 10 minutes. I think I could eat seven or eight. I’m going to do it at some point this summer. It’ll probably be on my Instagram.

So, that’s what I have to look forward to.

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