BOSTON (CBS) — While everyone else makes their picks on Thursday and the early part of Friday at the NFL Draft, the Patriots are going to have to sit and wait.
Or will they?
New England is without a first- or second-round selection, meaning they won’t be picking until late Friday evening (their first pick, as of now, is No. 72 overall in the third round). But Tony Pauline of Draftanalyst.com sent out an interesting tidbit on Monday, saying the Patriots have shown “big interest” in Florida safety Marcus Maye, who is projected to go somewhere in the first two rounds. Pauline is hearing the Patriots will be hard at work trying to move up on Thursday or Friday, and they have the ammo to do so:
At present time the Patriots won’t be called to the clock until the 72nd selection of the draft, but the feeling from those I’ve spoken with is that New England will make a move into the early or middle portion of the second round by trading Malcolm Butler or via some other maneuver.
Pauline joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Monday night to discuss the upcoming draft, and said if the Patriots want to move up, they shouldn’t have a problem doing so.
“They trade either some of their existing players or package picks from this year and next year, if they like the player that much,” explained Pauline. “If there is a player there, like a Marcus Maye or someone else, that they really like, the Patriots do a great job working the draft, either moving up or down or trading picks this year for future picks. They’ll find a way to do it.”
He highlighted linebacker, safety, pass rusher and offensive lineman as areas the Pats will likely focus on this weekend. As for the best groups of players, there will be a lot of them all over the field in this year’s draft.
“Probably cornerback or pass rusher, and it’s also a terrific crop of safeties,” said Pauline. “You’re going to have anywhere from 6-8 safeties taken in the first 45 selections, which is a huge number. It’s a terrific tight end class, and you can get starting tight ends through the late part of Round 2. You can get No. 2 tight ends who can produce as rookies through the fourth round. There’s a lot of edge rushers, 3-4 guys who can stand over tackles as well as guys who can come out of a three-point stance in a four-man line.”
Pauline also touched on the poor offensive lineman class this year, players whose stock is rising and those whose stock is falling in the days leading up to the draft, and what to expect out of the quarterbacks taken this year. Listen to the full podcast below: