There are few things Bill Belichick likes more than moving his New England Patriots up and down the NFL draft board by trading with fellow general managers.
Last year alone, Belichick swung seven draft pick swaps.
Relatedly, the Patriots currently don’t have a second-round pick. Their biggest need is at tight end, and the top players at that position are expected to be selected in the second round. Do you see where we’re going here?
The Patriots already have 12 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, so their goal should not be to acquire more picks. But it would behoove them to get into that second round to select a tight end like Cole Kmet, Adam Trautman, Hunter Bryant or Brycen Hopkins. Taking Kmet in the first round would be a major reach. If they wait until the third round, then they might miss on those four aforementioned players and have to settle for Harrison Bryant or Albert Okwuegbunam.
So, let’s find some potential trades to move the Patriots down then back up in the draft. We used Drafttek.com’s NFL Trade Value Chart (and math!) to find potential fits.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23, 100 and 212 (865.4 points) to the Miami Dolphins for pick Nos. 39, 56 and 185 overall (866.2 points)
At No. 39 overall, the Patriots could still take a wide receiver, linebacker or defensive end and then draft a tight end at 56. Kmet could be off the board at this point, but the Patriots could still take one of the other players we mentioned.
It would usually be taboo to trade in-division, but Belichick has a strong relationship with Dolphins head coach Brian Flores.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23 and 100 (860 points) to the Houston Texans for pick Nos. 40, 57 and a future fourth-rounder (around 860 points)
This is pretty similar to the above trade taking out the sixth-round swap. The Patriots instead get a future pick out of the deal. They love stashing picks in upcoming drafts. They could either reach for Kmet at 40 or wait until 57 to grab a tight end.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien, like Flores, is another former Patriots assistant.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23 and 98 (868 points) to the Chicago Bears for pick Nos. 43 and 50 (870 points)
The Patriots get a slightly later pick at No. 43 and probably get to take whichever tight end they want, including Kmet, at 50.
The Patriots and Bears have made draft-day trades in consecutive years.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23, 172 and 241 (782.4 points) to the Baltimore Ravens for pick Nos. 55, 60 and 92 (782 points)
The Patriots move way back from No. 23 to 55 but don’t have to give up a third-round pick and grab two second-rounders and a late third. The Patriots could select a wide receiver (K.J. Hamler?) at 55 and a tight end (Trautman?) at 60.
The Patriots and Ravens swung a trade last training camp when New England picked up guard Jermaine Eluemunor.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23 and 213 (765 points) to the Carolina Panthers for pick Nos. 38 and 69 (765 points)
In this scenario, the Patriots pick up early second- and third-round picks rather than two second-rounders. The Patriots could either grab Kmet at No. 38 or see if one of the top tight ends is still there at No. 69.
The Patriots traded with the Panthers for defensive end Kony Ealy in 2017.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23 and 213 (765 points) to the Los Angeles Chargers for pick Nos. 37 and 71 (765 points)
This is a nearly identical trade to the one above. They’d just be receiving an earlier second-round pick and a later third-rounder.
The Patriots and Chargers are not regular trade partners.
Patriots send pick Nos. 23 and 98 (868 points) to the Kansas City Chiefs for pick Nos. 32 and 63 (866 points)
The Patriots would still get to pick in the first round (in a familiar spot) while picking up a late second-rounder, as well.
Belichick and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid swing trades regularly. They traded with one another in 2017 and 2018.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images