The Patriots have a handful of needs at the 2020 NFL Draft, but there’s one, in particular, that’s been lingering in New England for some time now.
A tight end boost is desperately needed in Foxboro. The Patriots did little to fill the void Rob Gronkowski left behind and paid the price, as they received next to nothing from their tight end group in the 2019 season. Considering tight ends often can be a security blanket for quarterbacks, it would behoove New England to bolster the position as second-year pro Jarrett Stidham takes over under center.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, this year’s class of tight end prospects is nothing to write home about, so it might be in the franchise’s best interest to seek out a veteran. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell did just that for New England in his all-trades mock draft, which sends Evan Engram to the Patriots.
Patriots get: TE Evan Engram, 2-36, 4-110
Giants get: 1-23, 3-98
Let’s get the Patriots the tight end they desperately need after losing Rob Gronkowski a year ago. Engram isn’t Gronk, but his versatility and burst as a receiver is levels beyond anything else the Patriots have. He is also under contract for 2020 at just $3.4 million, which is a nice plus for a New England team that is hurting for cap space
The Dave Gettleman regime didn’t draft Engram, and given the Giants general manager’s emphasis on building around the running game and getting rid of the players acquired by former GM Jerry Reese, it’s fair to say Engram sticks out as a possible trade candidate. He’s unquestionably a talented receiver, but he has also missed 14 games over his first three seasons with various injuries. If the Giants take a defensive piece at No. 4, this would be a place for them to trade up and grab a right tackle candidate such as Houston tackle Josh Jones, whose chances of remaining available fall from 88% at No. 23 to just 4% at No. 36, according to ESPN’s NFL draft predictor tool.
It’s an intriguing hypothetical, for sure. Engram alone obviously isn’t worth a first-round pick, but landing the 25-year-old in addition to the fourth pick of the second round seems like a pretty fair deal. This trade also would leave New England with five picks between the third and fifth rounds, and Bill Belichick has a pretty good track record of uncovering hidden gems in this area.
The odds of this hypothetical coming to fruition are slim to none. But the overarching point is that the Patriots should keep all of their options open throughout the draft.