Patriots Mailbag: Is Tua In Play? How Could Pats Acquire O.J. Howard?

Remember folks, it’s “lying season.”

We’re just under a week away from the 2020 NFL Draft, so be skeptical with any rumor you hear … unless it’s from me, of course. Then it’s 100 percent happening. The latest rumor is that the Patriots will spend a “premium pick” on a quarterback next week. That’s easier said than accomplished at No. 23 overall. And it’s entirely possible that the Patriots will spend their first-round pick on a quarterback. We’re just having a hard time trying to figure out how that would go down.

Watch above and read below to check out this week’s mailbag.

@TomEffinBradyx6
Any real interest in Tua ? Also Lombardi said Tua being only 6 feet is an issue any truth to that.
I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots jumped to take Tua if he started to fall.

There are some risks with his height, hip injury and durability, but he also has a very, very high floor if he can stay healthy. (And he’ll need it to reach the top of the refrigerator! Sorry, bad height joke.)

Personally, I think height is overblown at quarterback. Russell Wilson is just fine despite being under 6-feet. Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield have managed to be drafted first overall despite being short. I think NFL teams are getting past their collective height bias.

I ultimately don’t think Tua winds up falling within range of the Patriots. But out of the top three quarterbacks in the draft, he has the best chance of falling to the point where the Patriots could potentially think about trading up to grab him.

@sttefann
If YOU would be the GM of the Patriots, what’d you do this Draft? (Not what the Patriots and BB might do, should do or would do but YOU) Trade up, trade down and how would your ideal Draft look like? #MailDoug
I would trade down from the first round and grab either two second-round picks, a late first and a late second or an early second and early third.

I would grab either a wide receiver, linebacker or edge defender with my first pick. Then I’d take a tight end with the second selection. I’d try to get an offensive lineman, quarterback and whatever I didn’t get with the first selection — whether that’s a wide receiver or linebacker — with the three third-round picks.

It would look something like this:

First pick: WR Justin Jefferson, WR Brandon Aiyuk, WR Chase Claypool, OLB Zack Baun, S/LB Jeremy Chinn or LB Kenneth Murray
Second pick: TE Adam Trautman
Third-round pick: WR Lynn Bowden or LB Logan Wilson
Third-round pick: QB Jalen Hurts or QB Jake Fromm
Third-round pick: OT Jack Driscoll or OT Matt Peart

I’d probably take an interior offensive lineman in the fourth round, a kicker in the fifth and then fill out some depth in the sixth and seventh rounds.

As an aside, here are the 11 players across all round that I’m most infatuated with:

RB/WR Antonio Gibson
WR/TE Chase Claypool
QB/RB/WR Lynn Bowden
TE Dalton Keene
OT Tristan Wirfs
OL Jon Runyan
DT McTelvin Agim
LB Carter Coughlin
LB Malik Harrison
CB Madre Harper
S Jeremy Chinn

Take them or leave them. Those are my guys, and I’m sticking with them.

I don’t love, love a quarterback this year other than the top guys. I like the value Jalen Hurts brings, but I have some questions about his game.

@DirtyJ328
Who are a few guys you think the Patriots could move up for in the first round? If they fell out of say the top 15 picks?
Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert, one of the top offensive tackles, whether that’s Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, Andrew Thomas or Mekhi Becton, and defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw.

That’s about it. I don’t anticipate those players falling out of the top 15 picks, but if they do, then I would consider trading up. I’d be intrigued by one of the top wide receivers, whether that’s Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs or Ceedee Lamb. The depth at that position is so strong, however, that I’d probably wait to take a wide receiver rather than trading up.

Wide receivers who go in the second or third round of this draft could be first-rounders in other years. A team would be nuts to not take a shot on a wide receiver this year. And if the Patriots do it, then they might even have a shot to develop without Tom Brady at quarterback.

@CelticGreen2020
Who has to be available at #23 for Pats to stay put and not trade back?
That’s the problem with this year’s draft is that I’m not seeing any no-brainer options at No. 23 overall for the Patriots. If someone I listed above falls, then that would be an obvious pick at No. 23 overall. Otherwise, I’d trade down to try to bridge the gap from No. 23 overall to No. 87 overall.

I like players like Baun, Murray, A.J. Epenesa, Brandon Aiyuk, Yetur Gross-Matos and Josh Jones, but I’m not in love with any of them at the end of the first round. I don’t think the talent level between players at the end of the first round is that different than who will be there midway through the second round. So, you might as well just grab an extra pick in the process, right?

I think if I ran a draft, I’d just want as many picks as humanly possible. If I did a mock draft my way, I’d probably come out of it with 16 players, and our first pick wouldn’t come until midway through the second round.

@chef4575
Is it possible to trade the rights to Gronk for OJ Howard? Do you think the Patriots would offer a 3rd round pick for Howard if not?
Yes, it is possible if Rob Gronkowski really does want to come back and play with Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots can trade Gronkowski’s rights to the Buccaneers, and then Tampa Bay could activate him. And O.J. Howard could be included in that deal. The Patriots might need to chip in a pick to complete the trade.

Some Patriots fans seem to be overvaluing Gronk. He’s retired, and the Patriots’ hands would be tied if he wants to return. The Patriots aren’t going to get a haul for him if he’s even interested in playing. OK? OK.

If Gronkowski isn’t involved, then yes, I do think the Patriots would offer a third-round pick for Howard. I don’t think that gets it done, though. I think a second-round pick makes sense for Howard, but the Patriots don’t have one. So, that’s a problem.

Would the Patriots be willing to offer a first? Probably not. Would the Bucs take a third-round pick? Eh. Two thirds? Maybe. Joe Thuney? The Buccaneers need another guard.

Let’s go rapid fire.

@EbenezerMudget
We headed for 100% turnover at the TE position?
No, I think Matt LaCosse comes back next season. It depends on how many pieces the Patriots add at the position, but Ryan Izzo also could be competing for a spot in training camp, as well.

If the Patriots had signed a tight end, then maybe. But they haven’t yet.

@MarkJohnBennett
If the Patriots want Fromm or Hurts, do you think either will be available at #87?
I definitely think one of them would be there at No. 87 overall. There’s a better chance that Jake Fromm will still be available.

@PP_Rich_Hill
Any advice for getting sleep as a new parent?
Doctors are split on this, but letting Olivia sleep in our bed was helpful. Our pediatrician was fine with it. We put Olivia in a Dock-A-Tot between us. That made it easier for my wife to feed her in the middle of the night. Olivia definitely got used to sleeping in bed with us, so it was a slight struggle to get her into a crib, but that was more of a short-term issue.

@thisryanjackson
sup?
I’ve been super busy with pre-draft prep. Other than that, I started “Ozark” on Wednesday night. I’ve also been watching some old Nickelodeon shows on some streaming app called Pluto.TV? “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Guts,” “Clarissa Explains it All” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” are on there.

I’ve also been consuming a lot of Kraft macaroni and cheese, and I had a slice of Totino’s Party Pizza tonight, so it sort of feels like I’m back in 1994 except now I have a cell phone and a child.

@torben_varming
How about Froholdt? Will he make it to the roster this season? Flag of Denmark
He should. The pride of Denmark — other than myself, of course — could wind up being the top backup at center and guard.

@TMurph207
who are your top 3 QB that will go after the first rd of the draft ?

Do you think the Panthers should have waited to sign McCaffrey to a HUGE new deal

How do you feel about
@PhilAPerry
stealing your daughters name ?
I’ll go stock and say Washington’s Jacob Eason, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Georgia’s Jake Fromm. I think Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Love all go in the first round.

I was surprised that the Carolina Panthers signed Christian McCaffrey to such a huge deal, but he has more value than most running backs because of his receiving ability. He’s essentially a running back and wide receiver.

I’m A-OK with it. Olivia is a great name. I’m just glad he didn’t steal Olivia’s middle name, Summer, which is a lot more unique.

@Chris_Blackey
Who is the best Boston hardcore band of the 90s and why is it Sam Black Church?
I have to concede that I’m more into 2000s hardcore than 1990s, but I’d say either Bane or Converge, if they count. Bane is probably better known for their 2000s output, but they started in the ’90s. Converge is maybe more of a metalcore band, but I put them under the hardcore umbrella.

I’ll go with Bane. I’ve always loved this video (start at 1:10):

And this isn’t part of their 1990s output, but this is one of the greatest hardcore songs of all time:

@Butman43
Do the pats trade thuney for njoku and pick 41. sign cam. use 41 to replce thuney in loaded ol draft?
No, none of that.

@tedmetro29
Why isn’t Raekwon Davis mocked to the Pats? He seems like he would fill a big need and possibly had in the 2-3 rounds.
I think it’s probably because defensive line isn’t regarded as a major need for the Patriots, but he would be a fantastic pick in the second or third round. He’d be a great fit on the Patriots’ defensive line with his size, length and run-stuffing ability.

@pereira_report
What would you rather address in the first round: WR, OL, Edge, LB, QB?
I would order those:

1. Linebacker
2. Wide receiver
3. Edge
4. Offensive line
5. Quarterback

@loonardi
Most underrated Disney animated sequel?
Probably one of the “Peter Pan” or “The Fox and the Hound” sequels. I’ll go with “Return to Never Land.” My daughter really likes that one. The sequels and prequels to “The Little Mermaid” are trash.

My 2-year-old thinks the sequel to “The Fox and the Hound” is the original because I won’t let her watch the first one. It’s too sad.

@NoraPrinciotti
What’s the best Oreo stuffing level

Please rank Oreos by stuffing level

Please rank the non-traditional Oreo flavors
Oh wow. What a question.

1. Most Stuf
2. Mega Stuf
3. Double Stuf
4. Just peel the cream off of a double stuf Oreo and eat it without the cookie
5. Regular
6. Thins

I have no time for regulars or thins.

And this is just going off memory of how these all tasted:

1. Golden birthday cake — I don’t think these exist anymore, but they should. They were kind of like a Dunkaroo
2. Cinnamon bun — These are so good, and I don’t think anyone knows they exist
3. Dark chocolate
4. Chocolate birthday cake
5. Cookies and cream — This is basically an Oreo flavored Oreo, which is a genius concept
6. Golden
7. Chocolate creme
8. Churro — This was a mystery flavor
9. Peppermint bark
10. Peanut butter cup
11. Pumpkin spice
12. Peanut butter
13. Lemon
14. Mississippi mud
15. Chocolate peanut butter pie
16. Cookie butter
17. Jelly donut
18. Waffles and syrup
19. Salted caramel
20. Mint
21. Chocolate hazelnut
22. Fruity pebbles — Another mystery flavor
Precipitous dropoff
23. Apple pie
24. Cookie dough — They just didn’t get the flavor right
25. Hot cocoa — Oreo struggles with artificial marshmallow flavoring
26. Rocky road trip — Ditto
27. Key lime
28. Peeps — These were … gritty?
29. Love — These tasted like chocolate mixed with Sweethearts
30. Carrot cake — Oreo also can’t nail cream cheese frosting
31. Red velvet
32. Candy corn
33. Kettle corn
34. Blueberry pie — The fake blueberry taste was awful
35. Hot and spicy cinnamon
36. Cherry cola — Who thought chocolate and cherry cola was a good idea?
37. Pina colada — I just don’t like coconut
38. Coconut

I definitely put in the most thought and research into that question.

Thumbnail photo via John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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