This upcoming draft is going to say a lot about the New England Patriots’ plans. Trading Brandin Cooks for the 23rd overall pick has opened many doors. They can select the quarterback of the future, bring in an elite WR, or stay put and address needs within the roster.
Draft the Heir
There are multiple reports saying that the Patriots have interest in drafting a quarterback early. As reported by Benjamin Allbright, the Patriots have interest in Josh Rosen. Another report by Jason LaCanfora says the Patriots are eyeing Sooners standout Baker Mayfield in the draft. Apparently, the Patriots have an “affinity” for Mayfield, and are strongly considering moving up to draft the quarterback. Drafting a promising young quarterback now would allow them to learn from Tom Brady. If the Patriots go this route, they will be giving up a lot of assets that would help them win now. However, as much as I do not want to admit it, the Patriots and football will go on once Tom Brady retires. It is crucial that the Patriots have a ready and able quarterback when that time comes.
The Patriots have a need at left tackle, linebacker, and cornerback, which they can address at picks 23 and 31. At pick 23, the Patriots can either fill the need at left tackle or linebacker. They have a shot at landing either Rashaan Evans (who they just met with), or Leighton Vander Esch. Evans will bring much-needed athleticism to the Patriots’ front seven. Vander Esch is another big athletic linebacker who would help the Patriots out tremendously. However, if the Patriots choose to solidify Brady’s blind side they could select Kolton Miller. Miller protected Josh Rosen and earned Second Team All Pac 12 honors. At 31, the Patriots can address their need at corner. A name that comes to mind is Mike Hughes. Hughes was awarded first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors, and was a key cog in UCF’s undefeated season. The Patriots would be able to restock their offensive line or fill holes in the defense with these two selections.
The asking price of Odell Beckham Jr. is two first round picks. The New England Patriots have two first round picks. Trading for OBJ means the Patriots are all in with Tom Brady and winning a sixth ring. Brady and Odell have been flirting with each other all year on Instagram, and it would be a match made in football heaven. Mathematically, Odell’s contract would perfectly replace Cooks. They are both on the fifth year option of their rookie deals. Odell wants it to happen, Brady wants it to happen, most Patriots fans want it to happen. The only thing Bill needs to do is make the phone call.
Balls in Bill’s Court
Coach Belichick has the opportunity to set the Patriots up for success after both he and Tom Brady call it quits. It is going to be up to him to decide if he wants to go all in for the next two years (or maybe one) or set up the empire for a continued run of dominance. The ball and the Patriots future is in his court.