The relationship between Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the erstwhile Philadelphia Eagles coach led to deals in 11 straight drafts, including flip-flopping positions in 2011 as a joke to the over-analytical media.
New England enters this year’s draft with five selections. Only once during Belichick’s tenure did New England make only six selections. Expect the Pats to add to their selections starting with the 29th pick.
Because rookie salaries are slotted and the cost of trading up is down, teams are much more willing to wheel and deal to get a player they targeted. This should make it easier for New England to find a trade partner near the top of the second round.
That might be a quarterback-needy team that passed on West Virginia’s Geno Smith in the top 10 but want USC’s Matt Barkley or Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib in the bottom third. To ensure they get their man, a franchise will have to leapfrog back into the first round.
The Patriots will be very willing to slide several spots because positions of need are very deep this year. Quality cornerbacks and wide receivers are plentiful in this year’s class. And it’s possible as few as three at both positions will be selected in the first round.
That leaves a lot of players with comparable talent still available in the second round. It’s a situation New England likely is hoping for.
Who they want is speculation, but there are four players I hope the Patriots come away with in this draft.