The New England Patriots find themselves in an interesting position. A team notorious for trading back and acquiring picks, the Patriots will probably trade up during the 2019 NFL Draft. New England currently holds 12 selections in the draft, including six in the first three rounds. The Patriots don’t have the roster space to hold 12 new players along with undrafted free agents, so New England might be forced into giving up picks to move up in the draft. The only question now is what would a Patriots trade up scenario look like?
The most important thing in any trade scenario is that both sides end up getting a fair deal. The NFL draft trade value chart states that the Patriots’ draft is worth a collective 1,684.5 points, with their top pick worth 590 points. Any trade scenario would involve both teams receiving essentially the same value according to this formula.
Possible New England Patriots Trade Up Scenarios
Trade With Los Angeles Chargers
- Patriots get: 28th overall pick, 130th overall pick
- Chargers get: 32nd overall pick, 97th overall pick
This move represents perfect value for both sides, as each team receives 702 points in this trade. New England earns the right to move up five spots in the first round in exchange for dropping back in the third round. Doing this would let New England leapfrog receiver-needy teams like the Green Bay Packers to select Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown. Brown is one of the top receivers in the draft class and would be an instant fit with New England’s offense. While there are several good receivers in this class, Brown offers the safest floor of any receiver likely to be available in the mid-20’s. Los Angeles doesn’t have a pressing need on their roster, so they should be more than happy with the idea of trading back five picks to improve their draft stock in the third round.
This trade would give New England an instant-impact starter without compromising their ability to build a deep, talented draft class. In this scenario, the Patriots would still have two second-round picks and three picks in the third round. Truthfully, this trade would leave New England with enough ammo to trade up again, if they so desired.
Trade With Miami Dolphins
- Patriots get: 13th overall pick
- Miami gets: 32nd overall pick, 56th overall pick, 73rd overall pick
This one is admittedly a long shot, although this is an even trade from a value standpoint. The 13th overall pick is worth 1150 points, and New England could equal that value by sending over the 32nd, 56th, and 73rd overall picks to the Miami Dolphins. Head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier both have ties to New England which could help expedite a possible trade.
The Patriots would only make this trade for one player: T.J. Hockenson. New England has the unenviable task of replacing one of the all-time greats in tight end Rob Gronkowski. While Hockenson isn’t as good as Gronkowski (nobody is), he has the ability to be a top-five tight end in the league. If he’s still around at pick 13, Hockenson could immediately be a major factor as both a pass catcher and a run blocker.
Even though the value is fair, it’s hard to imagine Belichick giving up that many high picks for just one player. New England has built a dynasty on the philosophy of acquiring multiple good players instead of one great one. As great as Hockenson would be, the Patriots could probably be better off staying put and investing in a good tight end like Jace Sternberger or Irv Smith Jr.
Trade With Seattle Seahawks
- Patriots get: 21st overall pick, 124th overall pick
- Seahawks get: 56th overall pick, 64th overall pick, 73rd overall pick, 205th overall pick
NESN’s Doug Kyed beat me to the punch on this one, so we’ll keep it short. Seattle only has four picks in the 2019 NFL Draft and is actively looking to trade down and acquire more draft capital. The Seahawks currently own the 21st overall pick, which is roughly where Iowa tight end Noah Fant is likely to be selected. Fant struggles with drops and doesn’t help as a blocker but can gain separation and is deadly in the open field. He’s more Aaron Hernandez than Rob Gronkowski, but history shows there’s clearly a role for a guy like that in the offense.
Thanks to New England’s abundance of early-round picks, the Patriots might not even need to give up their first-round pick in a potential trade. The Patriots could grab someone like Fant or Christian Wilkins at 21 and still be able to select someone like N’Keal Harry or Dexter Lawrence at 32.
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