The New England Patriots need to add some weapons to their offense. Fortunately for Bill Belichick, the organization has plenty of draft assets to work with as it looks to surround quarterback Tom Brady with the pieces necessary to win another Super Bowl title.
The Patriots, fresh off their sixth championship of the Brady-Belichick era, have 12 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including six in the first three rounds. This not only positions New England to land several potential impact players coming out of college, but also gives the Patriots valuable flexibility when it comes to possible trades.
One glance at the Patriots’ draft capital suggests the organization’s big board could be extensive. But that would go against the norm in Foxboro, according to former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi and ex-New England scout Jim Nagy, who provided some interesting insight into the team’s typical draft strategy Thursday on ESPN’s “NFL Live” while discussing the need to improve Brady’s supporting cast.
Bruschi, who spent 13 seasons with the Patriots from 1996 through 2008, suggested Belichick doesn’t want too many young players on his roster, therefore making it likely New England will trade some of this year’s draft picks. The three-time champ spoke about the Patriots even giving past rookies “redshirt years,” basically having them sit for a season to learn behind veterans.
According to Nagy, the Patriots have a “really small” draft board relative to other teams across the NFL.
“It’s like a 2-day-old turkey. It’s picked over. They don’t have a lot of names up there,” Nagy said, reflecting on his time in New England. “They draft for roles. There are specific roles on that board, and once those are gone, what’s the point of drafting a player if you don’t think he’s gonna help you that year? So that’s when you’re gonna see a lot of those trades.”
Nagy estimates the Patriots usually have 75 or so players on their draft board, whereas other teams might have over 300.
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off April 25, with the Patriots’ first selection coming at No. 32 overall in the first round by virtue of their Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
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