Trading up the NFL Draft board comes with at an obvious price, and one NFL insider questions whether the New England Patriots will be able to justify it.
The Patriots, as you’ve probably heard, have been rumored in trading up in order to land their quarterback of the future. Whether New England would draft Trey Lance, Justin Fields or Mac Jones upon getting there, though, is anybody’s guess.
However, Michael Lombardi, an ex-NFL general manger who previously worked with the Patriots, is left wondering whether New England will be adamant in its attempt due to the price tag that will be associated.
“They’re not far away. Obviously, they have to fix the quarterback position,” Lombardi said on the ‘GM Shuffle’ podcast, per Boston.com. “Cam Newton has to play much better. Where are they with Jarrett Stidham, and can they trade up? If Mac Jones goes No. 3, which is what we all believe to be true, then where does that all fit? That means get to No. 4. Do they like Justin Fields? I don’t think so. Do they like Trey Lance? I’m not sure. I don’t know.
“Just knowing how they operate, I couldn’t imagine they could get either one of Lance or Fields to a high enough point to justify trading up to get them,” Lombardi continued. “This is what fans don’t understand. If you have a grading system that you have to really adhere to, you’ve got to be able to say; well Lombardi says, ‘They don’t like Fields and they don’t like Lance.’ That doesn’t mean they don’t like them. What I’m saying is they don’t have them graded high enough to be able to justify them at that point in the draft.”
If either Lance, Fields or Jones falls to New England, who holds the No. 15 overall pick, well, that’s a different story. That price tag, obviously, would be their own first-rounder but wouldn’t impact additional selections either in 2021 or 2022.
If New England wants to trade for the No. 4 overall pick from the Atlanta Falcons, for example, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer noted it would take No. 15, two fourth-rounders this year and a 2022 first-rounder.