What Will the Patriots Do With the 23rd Overall Pick?
The New England Patriots picked up an extra first round pick yesterday after trading WR Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams. It was a surprising move for the Patriots, considering Brandin Cooks only spent one season with the team. It’s also surprising because Cooks was a very productive receiver for the Patriots in his lone year there, putting up 1,082 yards and seven TD’s on 65 receptions.
For the Patriots to trade away a guy so valuable, you’d have to think the Patriots have something planned with the 23rd overall pick they received in return. Well it turns out they actually might be. It was reported yesterday the Patriots are interested in drafting quarterback Josh Rosen in the upcoming NFL Draft. Another surprise by the Patriots, considering Rosen is likely to go within the top 10 picks.
Is it even possible for the Patriots to move up that far? They certainly have the draft capital to make a move. New England now holds four picks (23rd, 31st, 43rd, and 63rd) in the first two rounds of the draft. The problem for the Patriots is having other teams also wanting to trade up for a quarterback. The Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, and Miami Dolphins are some teams who could also be looking for a trade, all of whom have higher picks than the Patriots. Out of all the teams looking to trade up, the biggest threat would be the Buffalo Bills, who hold multiple picks in the first three rounds of the draft.
When you consider the Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos, Bills, and a few others teams being in the market for a quarterback, the chances of New England being able to trade up that far are slim. If it were me, I’d much rather trade with the Bills because I’d get to pick earlier in the draft and could potentially receive more for trading with them. We can’t doubt what the Patriots could do. I’m sure they could pull it off somehow, but in my opinion, there’s a very small chance of Josh Rosen being selected by the Patriots.
So if they aren’t able to trade up for Rosen or another quarterback, what will they do with their newly acquired pick? It’s also been rumored the Patriots are interested in pursuing Odell Beckham Jr. They have the picks to get him, but I personally think that’s a bad idea. The amount of money he wants is ridiculous. His talent is undeniable, but the money and attitude issues don’t feel like a Bill Belichick move to me. If they did trade for Beckham, I think Belichick would get tired of him real fast and end up trading him away after one or two years.
In my mind, the best move for the Patriots is to draft someone with the 23rd overall pick. So who should they draft? Let’s look at their needs. They do need a quarterback to back up Tom Brady and be the future at the position. Aside from that, they need a defensive back, inside linebacker, and offensive tackle help. I also think it’d be smart for the Patriots to draft a dominant running back if they have the opportunity. So who might be available when pick 23 comes around? Not just be available, but who’s worth the pick?
Josh Jackson – Iowa
Mike Hughes – UCF
Jaire Alexander – Louisville
Isaiah Oliver – Colorado
Comparing this group to the other positions, it’s obvious this group has more depth at the top of the draft. There’s probably even a few more defensive backs who deserve to be on this list. Because of the depth at the top, I think the Patriots would wait on the defensive back and go after one of the other positions.
Rashaan Evans – Alabama
I don’t have Evans going until the late first round, so I think right around this pick is where he should go. There are a couple of other linebackers who would be worthy of going here such as Harold Landry or Leighton Vander Esch, but they’re more outside linebackers while the Patriots need is inside.
Connor Williams – Texas
Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame
Kolton Miller – UCLA
It’s possible these three offensive tackles could be gone by the 23rd pick, but I think at least one of them should be available. After losing a few tackles this offseason, the Patriots need to find a replacement. Protecting Brady should be a top priority.
Derrius Guice – LSU
New England knows how to use their running backs effectively, but they need a guy who can be a workhorse. Tom Brady doesn’t really need a good running game to be successful as a passer, but it couldn’t hurt to have a better one. As Tom Brady gets older, I think a better running game would really benefit the Patriots offense.
Who Should They Draft?
Out of all the guys on my list above, I think Derrius Guice would be the best pick at 23. I love his potential to be a dominant running back in the NFL. It’s possible Guice could be on the board at pick 31, so they could pick him there also. Either way, having two picks so close to each other allows the Patriots to kind of pick whoever they please and still have a lot of guys left on the board they like when the second pick rolls around.
I’ll be impressed if the Patriots can pull off a trade to draft Josh Rosen. I’ll be really impressed. I’ll be surprised if they trade for Odell Beckham. Even if they don’t make those moves, the Patriots have the draft picks to acquire a lot of good talent to help them improve now and in the future.