Report: Patriots, Panthers Have Done 'Groundwork' on Trade for No. 8 Draft Pick

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 27, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick yells from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

If the draft board breaks right Thursday night, the New England Patriots could make a move into the top 10.

Per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, the Patriots and Carolina Panthers have done "some groundwork" on a deal involving Carolina's No. 8 pick.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday that New England has been making calls about moving up with the possibility that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields could slide:

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Several teams have been making calls about getting into the top 10 of next week’s NFL Draft — including the #Patriots, who could have their eyes on Ohio State QB Justin Fields if he begins to slide. @gmfb @nflnetwork https://t.co/GjJazJXZQp

The Patriots re-signed Cam Newton for this season, but they don't have a long-term answer at quarterback. Their first pick is the No. 15 selection.

The Panthers could be a draft wild card. Head coach Matt Rhule appears to be committed to Sam Darnold as his starting quarterback since the team acquired the 23-year-old from the New York Jets on April 5.

Per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports, Carolina will exercise Darnold's fifth-year option for the 2022 season.

Assuming that takes the Panthers out of the quarterback market, their pick could become incredibly valuable depending on how things shake out. It's universally believed the first three players selected will be quarterbacks.

Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are expected to be the top two picks. Mac Jones seems like the favorite to go third to the San Francisco 49ers, but Justin Fields and Trey Lance have worked out with team brass in attendance.

After the top three picks, the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins at Nos. 4-6 don't appear likely to choose a quarterback. The Detroit Lions at No. 7 could, but they also have Jared Goff under contract through 2024.

If Fields, Lance or Jones is still on the board when the Panthers go on the clock, they might get a strong offer to trade back.


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