BOSTON (CBS) — If the Patriots want to draft a quarterback with the 15th overall pick on Thursday night, they’re still going to have to worry about the Denver Broncos at No. 9. That’s still the case even after the Broncos traded for Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Broncos sent a sixth-round pick to Carolina for Bridgewater, who will join young passer Drew Lock on Denver’s QB depth chart. Bridgewater has two years left on his contract, so drafting a quarterback in the Top 10 doesn’t appear to be the necessity it was for Denver on Wednesday morning.

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But according to Schefter, the Bridgewater trade does not take the Broncos out of the QB market when the draft begins on Thursday night.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Broncos play this now. They could draft a game-changer on defense, or they could take a project quarterback along the lines of Trey Lance (if he’s still available) at No. 9. Bringing in Lance wouldn’t help in 2021, but he would get a few years to learn under the Bridgewater/Lock duo.

Or they could always dangle that pick to a QB-needy team like the Patriots. Denver is certainly making it sound like teams that want a quarterback will have to jump in front of them, but it is the lying season and they could be trying to throw other teams off their scent.

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While Thursday’s trade makes Denver a little less likely to draft a quarterback, the Broncos remain a team that the Patriots will continue to monitor when the first round begins.

CBSBoston.com Staff