The NFL Draft is just a week away, and trade talks will likely be hitting a fever pitch. Many of those trade discussions and speculation will involve the New England Patriots.
Because of the Patriots’ history of success, a disappointing 2020 season, and the perception the team is in desperate need of a quarterback in a year when there are at least five first-round talents at the position, Bill Belichick and Co. are on the tips of everyone’s tongue.
In a recent article from ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, a trade between the Atlanta Falcons and Patriots is proposed, and it would be one of the biggest of the year if it comes to fruition.
In Barnwell’s deal, the Patriots would get the Falcons’ No. 4 overall pick along with a fourth-rounder in 2022 and 25-year-old cornerback Isaiah Oliver in exchange for the Patriots No. 15 pick, a 2021 third-rounder, 2022 first-round selection, and star cornerback J.C. Jackson.
While there have been some mock drafts predicting the Falcons will stay put at No. 4 and draft dynamic Florida tight end Kyle Pitts or even one of the quarterbacks like Trey Lance, Barnwell still believes they are more apt to trade down and that the Patriots make for the most natural partner in a deal.
“I still think it’s more likely that the Falcons trade down and add more pieces to fix their defense while trying to win around Ryan over the next couple of years,” Barnwell said. “They’re a terrible fit for the receivers and tackles who are likely in the discussion at No. 4, so they can trade down and still address the edge or their secondary. I think they’ll have talks with the Broncos at No. 9, but once the 49ers traded up, the most obvious team to move up became the Patriots.”
While it’s easy to make sense of the Patriots moving up to get Lance, Mac Jones, or Justin Fields, Barnwell acknowledges how out of character it would be for Belichick to pull off such a massive trade involving so many assets. Barnwell points to Cam Newton’s inconsistencies as extra motivation for this trade.