The New England Patriots have a ton of trade winds swirling around them. Whether it’s related to current players or draft picks, much of the hottest trade talk will be Patriots-centric.
One NFL analyst says we shouldn’t be surprised if the Patriots wind up trading disappointing third-year wide receiver, N’Keal Harry.
Andrew Harbaugh of Blue Chip Scouting wrote:
In hindsight this may be one of the worst picks made by Bill Belichick. He chose Harry over guys like Terry McLaurin, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf, major yikes. The team has a hole at receiver with [Julian] Edelman retiring so they may keep him for one more year, but if they look to get some picks to try again in a deep receiver class.
What Do the Patriots Stand to Gain From Moving N’Keal Harry?
Harbaugh is correct; the 2021 draft class seems to be stacked with potential star receivers. Not all of them will pan out, but New England just has to hope they find one who does. After all, the 2019 draft was pretty deep at the position too. Somehow the Patriots picked one of the guys who hasn’t produced in the NFL. Worst of all, they took him in the first round.
Moving Harry might net the Patriots a fifth-round pick, which could seem like a meaningless return, but it’s not. There are plenty of guys taken in that range who turn out to be significant contributors. Last season, the Patriots selected one of the league’s top rookies Mike Onwenu in the sixth round.
Also, adding late-round picks can help facilitate bigger trades which might be exactly what New England has in mind.
There Are Multiple Potential Patriots Trades on the Horizon
The Patriots may be interested in moving into the Top 10 of the NFL Draft to select one of this year’s top quarterbacks. They may need to part ways with some significant draft capital to facilitate that deal.
There’s also some talk that the Patriots might include star cornerback Stephon Gilmore to help offset some of the future talent required for New England to move up.
Diana Russini of ESPN appeared on Get Up on Tuesday, April 27, and she talked about the possibility of Gilmore being shipped off to help swing a deal for a Top-10 pick.
Something to keep in mind — and it’s a small little storyline to keep an eye on — Stephon Gilmore is in the final year of his five-year contract with the New England Patriots. He’s making about $7 million this season. The New England Patriots could perhaps deal Stephon Gilmore on draft night as part of a package to move up if they are in the business of getting a quarterback. I did speak to a team in the top 10 who told me that they’ve had calls with New England.
Could the Patriots move Harry for a late-round pick to help replace part of what they will lose in draft assets? It’s not a crazy concept, and it’s indicative of the kind of multi-layered strategy NFL general managers and player personnel folks are considering with the draft set to begin on Thursday, April 29.