BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots did not make a pick during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night. That will change early in Round 2 Friday night.
At least, theoretically, it should change early Friday evening. But with Bill Belichick in charge and making his decisions in the sweet Nantucket air, anything is possible.
The Patriots traded out of the first round on Thursday night, sending the 23rd overall pick to the L.A. Chargers for an early second round selection and a third-round pick. The Patriots are now slated to make their first pick of the 2020 draft at No. 37 — five picks into the second round.
The Pats will also pick much earlier than expected in the third round, landing pick No. 71 from Los Angeles in their Thursday night swap. If Belichick makes all his scheduled selections Friday evening — and that’s a gigantic if — New England is slated to make five picks during Rounds 2 and 3:
Rd. 2, No. 37
Rd. 3, No. 71
Rd. 3, No. 87
Rd. 3, No. 98
Rd. 3, No. 100
Nick Caserio hinted that more moves could be coming over the next two days.
“It just gives us some flexibility,” he said of Thursday night’s trade. “You can move around in the middle there a little bit. Late-round pick is a late-round pick. You look at them all together, you basically have 12 picks in five rounds, so we’ll see. We’re going to look at what’s left, then kind of recalibrate, move around a little bit. We certainly have the ammunition, the flexibility to do so. Like most picks and/or trades, it’s all player-driven, right? If there’s a player you feel you need to move to get, you can go ahead and do it. We’ll see how it all goes. I would expect us to pick more players tomorrow. How we pick them ultimately will be determined by what we’re looking at and how much we actually end up moving.”
And with plenty of holes to plug on the roster heading into the 2020 season, landing extra picks (New England is now up to 13 this weekend) isn’t a bad move for the Patriots.
However, you now have to consider Belichick’s track record in the second round, and it becomes a rather scary prospect.
While Belichick has found some good players in the second round — including Matt Light (2001), Deion Branch (2002), Rob Gronkowski (2010) and Jimmy Garoppolo (2014) — he’s had a lot more misses.
Those misses include Duke Dawson (2018), Cyrus Jones (2016), Jordan Richards (2015), Aaron Dobson (2013), Tavon Wilson (2012), Ras-I Dowling (2011), Ron Brace (2009) and Darius Butler (2009).
Yikes. But if there is any “totally redeem yourself” moment, now is the time for Belichick.
As for those holes on the roster, the Patriots have glaring needs at linebacker, tight end, and of course, quarterback. They should be able to address some of those needs and others Friday night, with intriguing players such as Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun, Iowa edge rusher A.J. Epenesa, Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos, Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet and Alabama safety Xavier McKinney still available.