Patriots Mailbag: Why Trading For QB During NFL Draft Seems Inevitable

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The 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. The New England Patriots are expected to be on the clock Thursday night around 9:45 p.m. ET.

With hours left until the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the board, let’s sift through some questions on what the New England Patriots are most likely to do with their 15th overall pick.

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

@mikeloris2
A trade for a QB is happening isn’t it ?

I believe the Patriots will wind up with a new quarterback on their roster after this weekend’s 2021 NFL Draft, and there’s a pretty good chance that QB will be taken after a trade.

So, I know you’re probably specifically asking about a trade up in the first round for one of the top five quarterbacks. That’s one possibility. It looks as if Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones will be the first three quarterbacks off of the board. That leaves Trey Lance and Justin Fields with 12 picks before the Patriots are selecting 15th overall. The Patriots will probably need to trade up if they want to land one of those quarterbacks (or Jones if he falls past No. 3).

But there are other ways to trade up for a quarterback. The Patriots could instead flip a draft pick (either 2021 or in the future) for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. They could trade up from No. 46 overall to grab one of the second-tier rookie options (Florida’s Kyle Trask, Stanford’s Davis Mills or Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond). They could also trade back from No. 46 overall or up from No. 96 overall to grab one of those Day 2 QBs.

So, I’d say, in total, the chances are pretty strong that the Patriots swing some type of deal for a quarterback. It just might not necessarily be a move up in the first round for a Top 5 option.

@isaacdobles
Plain and simple #MailDoug . What will Pats do in the 1st round this draft?

I believe they could trade up for a quarterback, trade up for a wide receiver, hang back and take an offensive lineman or cornerback or trade back for a linebacker.

I had the Patriots selecting USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 15th overall pick in my last mock draft. I’ll stick with that prediction. But there are many different variables in play.

@Steve_Roney
Brady still be a 6th rounder today? Based on his measurables, stats, etc I can’t decide if he moves up a few rounds as a savvy passer or if he’s a UDFA based on perceived lack of athleticism

That’s a really good question. First off, I think a young quarterback transferring to a new school has become more normalized. So, I could see a possibility where Brady transfers before his senior year, tears it up in a new program where he’s not competing with Drew Henson and winds up being a first-round pick.

Otherwise, I can’t see a quarterback in Brady’s situation, sharing reps with Henson, being a Day 1 or 2 pick. I also think Brady would have been helped out by some of the newer quarterback analytics like accuracy rate, depth of target, etc., which might have made him more of a sleeper selection in the recent era. But that might have only pushed him up to the fourth or fifth round. I do think he’s drafted, but probably not significantly higher than he was in 2000 in the sixth round.

@KingLarrythe3rd
Even if we trade up to 8, are we doing it for Fields or are we drafting a WR. (Lie to me and tell me Fields).

Listen, I’m not ruling out the possibility of Fields being available and the Patriots passing on him. The Patriots are unpredictable.

I think the Patriots are probably hiding their intentions on this year’s quarterback class well. But I also believe fans and the media tends to simplify the quarterback drafting process at times. The Patriots don’t necessarily have all five of those top quarterbacks ranked that high on their board just because the media or other teams do. When a team takes a quarterback in the top 10, they’re making a franchise-altering decision. It’s doubtful that New England has five quarterbacks ranked that high.

@sebbehn
Yes, it’s that time again. Would you be so kind to rate by likeliness : the day 1 QB1, considering what you know and believe will be :

A) Cam Newton
B) Jimmy Garoppolo
C) Justin Fields
D) A later round pick (Mond, Mills, Trask, etc)

1. Cam Newton
2. Jimmy Garoppolo
3. Justin Fields
4. Later-round quarterback

I only have Fields higher because if the Patriots draft him, then he has a shot at starting from Day 1. If the Patriots draft a later-round quarterback, that player probably isn’t starting right away.

@MikeM2275
Do you think the Pats feel strongly enough about a Q4 to move up into the top 10? It’s a big risk with high cost when they can probably get a known quantity and Jimmy G and draft another stud player at a more predictable position. This is a BB legacy draft, doesn’t want to miss.

I think it all depends on the player. Like I said before, I doubt the Patriots would be willing to trade up into the top 10 for all five top quarterbacks.

One scenario that currently looks unlikely: What if the 49ers actually take Lance or Fields? I think the Patriots would be willing to move up a few spots for Jones.

Let’s go rapid fire.

@BigMoneyBob13
Do you think the pats trade back into the first round?

It’s possible. Maybe if a player like linebacker Zaven Collins starts to fall.

@thisryanjackson
sup?

Just trying to gather as much information on this year’s draft as possible. It’s a tough year to figure out what’s going to happen with so many variables.

Otherwise, I’m just excited for the draft.

@DamienHarrisSZN
Will Justin Fields win ROTY

That depends on which team drafts Fields. Lawrence and Wilson aren’t necessarily being drafted into ideal situations for a quarterback in Year 1. But the 49ers’ rookie quarterback will be in a position to put up some big numbers. If the Patriots, Denver Broncos or Chicago Bears come away with a quarterback, then those QBs could be entering advantageous situations, as well.

@anecdxche
Which quarterback prospect is most likely to listen to the Menzingers?

I’ll go with Peyton Ramsey.

@jabo1331
What are your go-to draft night snack foods?

I fully plan on eating way too many of these:

I might go on a Trader Joe’s run to get some more snacks before this weekend.

@xyz_fan
How many picks do you think the Patriots actually make in total?

How many on day 2? (Round 2+3)?
I’ll say nine total and three on Day 2.

Hungo Bungo
favorite place to get donuts?

My top three donut shops in Massachusetts are:

1. Hole in One in Eastham/Orleans

2. Donut King in Quincy (not Weymouth)

3. Country Kitchen in Walpole (not Millis)

@mister_daley
If you’re sick of Draft Qs: What are the chances that Matt Slater has another regular season reception before he retires? Would love it if Bill throws him a bone this season and let’s him snag career catch #2

That would be great. The chances are not so good since Slater has cut back on his wide receiver practice time. I’m all for it, though.

@linop67
Is it BPA at 15

That’s how it feels. Best player available on the Patriots’ draft board.

@wifiwolfpack
Do you like covering the regular season or the off-season more?

That’s an interesting question. I do like covering the offseason, but there’s too much downtime. I’d pick the regular season. I like OTAs, minicamp and training camp too, though.

@jtabsports
Do the Patriots select Devin McCourty’s successor in this draft? If so, how high up would the Patriots select a free safety?

They could, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots took a cornerback and wound up moving Jonathan Jones back to safety when the time is right.