As the Patriots place jointly a historic free of charge-agent course, a handful of factors arrived into focus.
Bill Belichick evidently observed that his 2020 staff lacked depth on both equally sides of the ball, which is a single reason why the group was so intense in signing 13 free brokers and re-signing an supplemental 8 players. By doling out extra than $160 million in assured revenue, the Patriots loaded their roster with identified commodities. Historically, the Pats have been modest spenders in no cost agency and then fill in some gaps by way of the NFL Draft.
By applying these kinds of an aggressive solution final month, having said that, the Pats have ensured that their 2021 roster will count heavily on veterans and fewer so on rookies. Proper now, the Patriots have 79 gamers on their 90-person roster. They also have 10 draft picks coming up later on this thirty day period.
Adhering to their free of charge-agent frenzy, the Patriots have put on their own in place to wheel and deal during the 2021 NFL Draft and can both trade up or out of this upcoming draft.
Place it this way: Would it make feeling for the Patriots to draft 10 gamers and then leave space for just a person undrafted absolutely free agent?
The Pats normally deliver in a sound course of undrafted absolutely free agents to compete with rookies and veterans. Those people undrafted gamers have led to some gems, this kind of as David Andrews, Malcolm Butler, J.C. Jackson, Adam Butler and Jonathan Jones. We’re not indicating they need to prevent drafting in the initially four rounds to get some likelihood on undrafted players. It’s very clear, even so, that the Patriots really do not have to have a massive rookie course.
Hunting at the roster, the Pats have few holes thanks to their free agent splurge. Taking the Pats’ 2022 free agent course into thing to consider, positions like cornerback and offensive tackle would make feeling in this forthcoming draft. It’s attainable that Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown all enjoy in agreement many years. The fact is the Pats could not have that considerably home for a rookie to make an instantaneous effects.
Of class, the one situation that sticks out is quarterback.
With a depth chart of Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Jake Dolegala, this is the a single placement the Patriots genuinely did not deal with past thirty day period. With a deep quarterback class and the Patriots buying at No. 15, we currently know they won’t be drafting Trevor Lawrence, who will go No. 1. It’s predicted that BYU’s Zach Wilson will go No. 2. The question then becomes, what occurs with San Francisco at No. 3? They’ll be drafting possibly Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance.
The Patriots aren’t in position to get a single of the best quarterbacks. That’s why they would need to trade up. Traditional knowledge says that the Pats would have to offer No. 15, a 2021 third-rounder and a 2022 first-rounder (at the very least) to go up. The trouble is that Atlanta (No. 4), Carolina (No. 8) and Denver (No. 9) are in front of them and are viewed as to be in the functioning for the last two quarterbacks. If the Falcons’ plan is to adhere with Matt Ryan, the Pats could attempt to trade up in front of the Panthers and Broncos.
The Pats also could go up in the second spherical or trade back again into the conclude of the very first spherical to goal the up coming batch of quarterbacks — Kyle Trask, Davis Mills, Kellen Mond and Jamie Newman. As it stands ideal now, the Pats have a single decide each in the very first, next and 3rd rounds, but maintain a few fourth-spherical picks. That is sufficient ammo to move up.
There is a different aspect to the 2021 draft that requires to be deemed and it’s the uncertainty of every thing. Since of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college football period was shorter for lots of teams. Some groups didn’t take part. Some gamers opted out. Simply because of the virus, there was no NFL Incorporate and there are no pre-draft visits or just one-on-1 meetings at university campuses. Groups are caught working with online video calls for interviews and, at instances, outdated match film to create their draft board.
Looking at the Patriots have a deep roster, they can manage to deal picks to trade up or trade out into 2022 – where the hope is the pre-draft course of action will be again to usual. The 2022 draft is also currently regarded to be further than this draft.
Which is even a lot more rationale for the Patriots to shorten this draft class, rely on their veterans and achieve extra belongings for 2022 or deal numerous picks to move up and grab their meant concentrate on.