The New England Patriots are usually not in an awesome place to land one of many prime quarterbacks within the 2021 NFL Draft, however latest stories surrounding their preparations for the offseason might trace at a blockbuster draft-day transfer for a staff that has sometimes prevented them.
Choosing fifteenth within the first spherical, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields and Trey Lance all seem like out of attain for New England, together with presumptive first general decide Trevor Lawrence. And, with growing nationwide buzz about Mac Jones as a potential top-10 pick, the Patriots might discover themselves choosing too late within the opening spherical to land the Alabama signal-caller.
Regardless of their awkward place within the draft, the Patriots have been spending lots of time evaluating the highest 5 quarterbacks within the class. Certainly, based on Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Patriots have been “aggressively scouting” every of that quintet.
With Lawrence, it’s prone to be nothing greater than head coach Invoice Belichick – whose meticulous preparation has been pivotal to his unimaginable success – doing his due diligence on the quarterback who will doubtless be helming the offense of the AFC rival Jacksonville Jaguars for the following decade.
Nevertheless, the Patriots’ curiosity within the quintet under Lawrence is considerably extra intriguing given their must discover a answer below middle, with the return of Cam Newton in query following an uneven season for New England final 12 months.
A commerce up on the minds of Patriots?
If New England is about on the draft to seek out its subsequent quarterback, then the chances are the Patriots might want to commerce up. That might be the case even when Jones is the goal.
Buying and selling up within the first spherical has not often been part of Belichick’s draft technique. He did so in successive years in 2002 and 2003 and once more in 2012, that latter transfer touchdown them linebacker D’Onta Hightower. It would maybe take the largest swing of Belichick’s profession for them to get right into a spot to land considered one of Wilson, Fields or Lance.
Nevertheless, with the Patriots possessing practically $69 million in wage cap house — per Spotrac — they’ve the assets to construct a supporting solid round a rookie quarterback, giving them the pliability to probably half with vital quantities of draft capital to make a considerable transfer up the board.
With the Buffalo Payments reaching the AFC Championship sport and the Miami Dolphins on the rise, the Patriots are at risk of being left behind within the AFC East. Their intense examine of this 12 months’s quarterback class may counsel they’re able to swing a deal to assist them slim the hole.