Will the New England Patriots Trade Up in the NFL Draft? A Former Special Assistant Doesn’t Think So


The NFL Draft is a few weeks away and as of right now, the Patriots will draft at pick number 15.  Fans are hoping head coach Bill Belichick decides to trade up in the draft.  However, will Belichick actually do that and select one of this years top quarterbacks?

Courtesy of Pats Pulpit

Former Patriots executive Michael Lombardi joined The GM Shuffle podcast and discussed whether or not the Patriots would actually do that.

“Just knowing how they operate, I couldn’t 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 don’t understand,” said Lombardi. 

He also added that according to the Patriots draft grade system, the assets New England would give up doesn’t justify the trade. 

If Belichick likes either Justin Fields or Trey Lance he has the ability to make the trade.  Lombardi isn’t sure whether or not the Patriots like either quarterback. 

“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 [No.] 4.  Do they like Justin Fields?  I don’t think so.  Do they like Trey Lance?  I’m not sure.  I don’t know.”

He would go on to add, “What I’m saying is they don’t have them graded high enough to be able to justify them at that point in the draft.”

From 2014-2016, Lombardi worked for the Patriots as a special assistant. The former general manager of the Cleveland Browns has a very good understanding as to how the Patriots front office operates. 

If the Patriots were to actually trade to the fourth overall pick, Sports Illustrated NFL Insider Albert Breer thinks it’s cost New England four picks. 

  • Patriots receive: fourth overall pick
  • Falcons receive: 15th pick, 120th pick, 122nd pick, and a 2022 first-round pick

Breer came up with that trade based off former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson’s classic value chart of draft picks. 

The Patriots draft evaluators would have to really think either Fields or Lance will be stars at their respective positions.  However, Lombardi says there’s a difference between what talent evaluators think and how they think.

Meaning the way fans and the media grade these players are completely different than New England. 

If all you do is say, ‘He’s a first-rounder’ or ‘He’s a second-rounder’ then what are we saying?  That doesn’t say anything!” stated Lombardi. 

“Descriptions tell you what he is, and that’s why it’s hard for me to see them drafting quarterbacks like Fields or Lance or even some of these other guys early because they can’t fit the description that justifies trading for them.”

While the Patriots have a long-term clear need at the quarterback position, Lombardi feels this draft will set the Patriots up nicely for the long-term. 

“I think this is a draft that can really impact their 2022 team when they won’t have any free agent money to spend,” he said.  “So, they’ve got to really look short-term and long-term here.”

“If they can get a defensive tackle in there that would be certainly something that could really help them.  More speed on defense; another corner that can cover, I think that can help them tremendously.”

It really sounds like the Patriots could be looking to the later rounds for their quarterback.  Which is probably why there is a lot of hype around Kellen Mond. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Will the New England Patriots Trade Up in the NFL Draft? A Former Special Assistant Doesn’t Think So
Will the New England Patriots Trade Up in the NFL Draft? A Former Special Assistant Doesn’t Think So
Boston Sports Syndicate
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