The New England Patriots are picking higher than usual at No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they’re still ready for all scenarios.
Bill Belichick described a willingness to trade up, stay put or move back in the draft on Thursday in a video conference call with the media two weeks before the annual event.
What would lead them to trade up for player?
“I would say normally something will happen and there could very well be a player there that either you don’t expect to be there or maybe he is a couple spots, maybe at 12, 13 he’s still on the board and you really thought he’d be gone in the first six, seven picks,” Belichick said. “And then the question comes, do you try to move up and get that player that’s fallen a little bit?”
Belichick also explained what it would take for the Patriots to trade back in the draft, though he did concede it takes two to tango. Another team must be willing to move up to make a deal work.
“Those are the scenarios you go through,” Belichick said. “Which players would you move up for to get? Which players would you not move up for that you would wait and decide if you wanted to pick there at the spot that you’re at? And what players — if certain players weren’t there and you felt like, ‘well, the value of that pick might be the same whether you’re at 15 or at a lower position — it’s the same thing in every round, but you’re talking about the first round. If you feel like you can get the same player, the same quality of player or maybe the player that you like for whatever reason you think would be available at 20, then maybe you trade back to 20 and take him there and take that value at 20 rather than taking it at 15.
“I’m just picking numbers here out of the hat, but the concept is, that’s really what it is: Who you move up for, who do you take if you stay and what players are on the board. And if players are on the board that you feel like don’t add a lot of value or maybe they’re not the kind of fit for your team that you’re looking for in that particular situation, then maybe you say, ‘OK we consider moving back.'”
Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Trey Lance, wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, tight end Kyle Pitts and offensive tackle Penei Sewell are among the top-ranked players in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Patriots filled the majority of their offseason needs in free agency and via trade. They still could use a quarterback of the future, however.