The New England Patriots’ draft plans are as unclear as ever.
Bill Belichick went on a spending spree when the new league year opened, but the one area he didn’t address with external options was the quarterback position. That’s led many to believe the Patriots’ draft plan involves picking one of the top signal-caller prospects.
Trevor Lawrence will be off the board early, as will Zach Wilson. Opinions vary on where exactly Mac Jones (who the 49ers are said to be eyeing), Trey Lance and Justin Fields all will land. New England will pick 15th overall, meaning they probably will have to trade up to ensure they get their guy.
On his “GM Shuffle” podcast, former NFL general manager and Patriots executive Mike Lombardi explains why he doesn’t think the Patriots will trade up, which flies in the face of some recent mock drafts.
âTheyâre not far away. Obviously, they have to fix the quarterback position,” Lombardi said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Cam Newton has to play much better. Where are they with Jarrett Stidham, and can they trade up? If Mac Jones goes three, which is what we all believe to be true, then where does that all fit? That means get to 4. Do they like Justin Fields? I donât think so. Do they like Trey Lance? Iâm not sure. I donât know.
âJust knowing how they operate, I couldnât imagine they could get either one of Lance or Fields to a high enough point to justify trading up to get them. This is what fans donât understand. If you have a grading system that you have to really adhere to, youâve got to be able to say; well Lombardi says, âThey donât like Fields and they donât like Lance.â That doesnât mean they donât like them. What Iâm saying is they donât have them graded high enough to be able to justify them at that point in the draft.
Lombardi goes on to really emphasize how strongly teams have to stick to their grading system, and the Patriots simply just might not grade either quarterback high enough to make a move.
Stranger things have happened, however.