Patriots Trade Rumors: NE Has Been Actively Talking to Teams Ahead of NFL Draft

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 28, 2021

New England Patriots logo is seen along with the NFL shield logo and the Nike logo on a players sleeve before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
Matt Patterson/Associated Press

The New England Patriots are slated to make their first pick at No. 15 in Round 1 of the NFL draft Thursday, but it may not stay that way.

According to NFL Network's Mike Giardi, the Patriots are talking to teams about trading up or down, though Giardi said they were just "doing their due diligence" in making the calls.

Among the calls that have been made is one to the Atlanta Falcons, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Howe reported Wednesday the Patriots "think highly" of Ohio State product Justin Fields. Atlanta has the No. 4 pick.

The Patriots "are still candidates" to move into the top 10 on Thursday night, per Howe. But getting there could be costly.

When the San Francisco 49ers made their headline trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up from the No. 12 pick, they gave up two future first-round picks and a third-round pick in 2022 to get to No. 3.

Per Howe, New England would need to give up "some combination of Nos. 15 and 46 and 2022 first- and second-rounders" to get the fourth pick from Atlanta.

If the Patriots are not willing to pay that price, they reportedly have another option, as they've also laid "some groundwork" on moving up to No. 8 via a deal with the Carolina Panthers, per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer. The Panthers are set at quarterback, reportedly planning to exercise the fifth-year option on Sam Darnold's contract, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

The Patriots seemed to show faith in Cam Newton when they re-signed him to a one-year deal this offseason, but their desire to move up in a quarterback-heavy class shows they may not be ready to move forward with him after all.