Getty Mac Jones
The New England Patriots will select 15th in the 2021 NFL Draft.
That might be too late to grab one of the elite quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. One Patriots writer predicted the team would miss out on Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and Alabama’s Mac Jones if they stay at No. 15.
If you’re inclined to believe the Patriots might entertain the thought of trading up to grab a franchise quarterback in the draft, there is one team you’ll want to keep an eye on according to Pats Pulpit’s Brian M. Hines.
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The Giants Could Go From Rivals to Friend
Obviously, the Patriots probably wouldn’t be able to work with teams who have their eyes on one of the quarterbacks New England covets. Hines believes the New York Giants who select 11th overall might be a willing participant. They have Daniel Jones, who has had his ups and downs, but it is still a promising player.
Hines had the Giants at No. 10, but they will actually pick 11th. The same concept likely still applies. Here’s what Hines said:
To me, if Belichick and Co. were to trade up for a quarterback it is because they firmly believe he is ‘the-guy’ going forward. This Patriots team currently has a lot of holes on their roster and they currently project to have just nine picks available to fill them. Belichick is not just going to draft a quarterback to draft a quarterback and especially won’t trade up just to do so. Looking at the current draft order, if New England is to move-up and get their guy, they would likely have to jump the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions — both teams that could be in the market for their next franchise quarterback. That could mean a call to old friend Joe Judge and the Giants at pick No. 10, which would likely cost New England their first- and second-round draft selections. It’s a tough price to pay, but absolutely worth it for your next franchise quarterback.
If the Patriots are looking at the Giants as a trade partner at No. 11, you’d think they would have their eye on Alabama’s Jones. As of now, he seems to be the only one of the top 5 quarterback prospects who might be available that late.
No matter what mock draft you look at, most project Lawrence and Fields will be long gone by the time the 11th pick rolls around. A few still haven’t elevated Wilson, and some still aren’t putting much stock in Lance likely because he comes from a smaller program and didn’t get to play much this season because of COVID restrictions.
The question this scenario presents is would Jones be worth parting ways with the Patriots’ second-round pick and possibly a little more?
If the Pats Believe Jones is a Franchise QB, They Should Pay this Price
Franchise quarterbacks are arguably the hardest archetype to find in professional sports.
If the Patriots think Jones fits the mold, sacrificing a second-round pick is worth it (though I could imagine a late-round pick might also be needed according to the NFL trade-up chart).
The Patriots should have 10 picks heading into the draft.
If moving up drops them to 8 total selections, but they get the quarterback who will lead them into the future, it’s a move they need to make. However, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to come back with Cam Newton, draft a wide receiver or tight end in the first round, while taking a quarterback in the second or third round (compensatory pick).
The Patriots still have free agency as a resource to add more weapons in the passing game. While there is some reasonable logic to the trade-up concept, I’m more apt to believe the Patriots will approach their pursuit of a quarterback conservatively.