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Patriots Unfiltered Q&A: Draft Prospects and Potential Trades

20200422_unfiltere_qa_pdc_tua

Could Patriots be in on Fournette? I would be willing to give up a late pick and Michel for Fournette. I think Patriots need a power back like him, they've been missing since Smith, Dillon & Blount gone. –Mark Silveira

Mark, it really depends on what the Patriots think of Michel. He didn't play very well in his second year with the Patriots, but let's look at the big picture. The loss of James Develin, injuries on the line, and the loss of captain David Andrews had a significant impact on the running game. Still, Michel should have had a better season. If the Patriots don't believe that Michel can be a productive back, I'd be willing to give him and a 4th or 5th round pick up to get Fournette if that could get the deal done. Megan O'Brien

I don't think the Patriots are going to pick at 23. I think they will trade back to early second, and maybe even pick up an extra third. In the second round, I'd like to see the Patriots pick up either linebackers Zack Baun and Kenneth Murray or TE Adam Trautman. What do you think? – Len Carmody

I am with you, Len. I don't see the Patriots picking in the first round. Like you, I believe they will trade down and pick in the second round. I like where your head is at thinking either linebacker or tight end. However, I don't love Trautman. All of the tight ends in this draft are projects. Considering Trautman is coming from an FCS football program, his adjustment could be more significant. Cole Kmet is a project as well, but coming from Notre Dame, his adjustment to the NFL will be less drastic. As far as linebackers go, I don't think Murray will last until the second round. If he does, the Patriots should absolutely take him. I am not very high on Zack Baun because he's versatile enough for the Patriots defense. Megan O'Brien

Obviously there's been a lot of talk about the Patriots quarterback situation, and there should be. What I'm wondering is what quarterbacks in the draft are the best candidates to compete with Stidham? –Alex Sein

The only quarterbacks I really like in this draft are Burrow and Tua. There is no chance that Burrow will be an option for the Patriots, but Peter King's latest mock showed the Patriots trading with the 49ers for pick number 13 to draft Tua. Personally, I don't think Tua will drop that far, but crazier things have happened. Many have linked Jake Fromm and the Patriots. If that happens, I still roll with Stidham for the season, but perhaps the competition will be closer than I am anticipating once the team gets together. Megan O'Brien

Do you see the New England Patriots trading up in the first round of the NFL Draft to get a quarterback?—Grishm Masson

If the right quarterback falls enough, I could see the Patriots trading up. However, I don't see the Patriots moving up into the top ten. I think the Patriots are going to trade out of the first round, but you never know what can happen on draft night. If the Patriots do in fact trade up and opt to target a quarterback, I'd like to see them take Tua. Megan O'Brien

Are there any QBs in this year's draft that project to go after the second round that excite you guys and gal? –Ronald Evans

After Tua and Burrow, I am not excited about any of this year's quarterbacks. I would rather see what Stidham can do and aggressively target a quarterback next year if things don't work out. I have no problem with the Patriots finding another camp quarterback in the later rounds, but unless they find a way to draft Tua or Burrow, I'm rolling with Stidham. Megan O'Brien

Patriots guard Joe Thuney (62).
Patriots guard Joe Thuney (62).

What kind of trade could the Pats get for Joe Thuney? Moving him would open up some cap space. –Bob Michaud

This is a difficult question because typically when a team uses a franchise tag on a player, it is essentially saying the player is worth a first round pick. While Thuney is a solid player, he;s not worth a first round pick. Maybe the Patriots view it differently because of their situation of the offensive line. If you can get a second round pick for Thuney, take it and run. Megan O'Brien

Can you give us any insight into how far ahead the team looks at draft classes and positions? The reason I am asking is because last year, the first round pick was spent on a wide receiver and all we hear about how this year's class is loaded at wide receiver. –Jesse Hurkes

It's an interesting question, Jesse, and I see where you are coming from. The scouting department is evaluating players throughout their college football careers. However, many players rapidly change throughout their college careers. Some players have outstanding freshmen and sophomore seasons and then struggle the year they become draft eligible. Some players, like Joe Burrow this year, have one season that entirely changes their draft stock. It's tough to predict in 2020 what the wide receiver class in 2021 will look like. It's the same for every position. At the end of the day, in every draft, teams have to identify the players they like, and if they are available, pick them. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't. Also, just because the Patriots drafted N'Keal Harry in the first round last year, don't sleep on them drafting receivers this year. Megan O'Brien

It seems imperative that with a less experienced quarterback the Patriots need to have a solid running game to help take the pressure off of him. Therefore, shouldn't the offensive line be high on the Patriots priority for the offense in this draft?–Wayne Simmons

There are plenty of questions on the offensive line heading into the 2020 season and it starts with a new coach. I am wondering how this group will adapt post-Dante Scarnecchia. I am also concerned about the health of David Andrews. Will we see a jump from Isaiah Wynn? Will Joe Thuney be on the roster or will the Patriots trade him? How will Yodney Cajuste look in his first healthy NFL season? There are plenty of questions surrounding the line, and there is no question in my mind that the Patriots will target a lineman somewhere in the draft. Megan O'Brien

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