In only half an hour the 2018 NFL draft will be kicked off with the Cleveland Browns officially being on the clock. Before the action begins, though, here are five last-minute thoughts on the draft and the New England Patriots.
Don’t expect New England to make two picks today: The Patriots will reportedly field calls for the 31st overall selection from teams trying to move back into round one. It would therefore not be a surprise to see them move out of its second first-round pick to acquire additional draft capital on days two and/or three – and potentially even another first-rounder next year.
A run for quarterbacks might actually benefit the Patriots: ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss noted early today that he does not see the team force a quarterback in round one, so unless one of the top guys falls into their lap (or close to it) they will likely address the position tomorrow. Quarterbacks coming off the board might actually be a positive for New England, though, as it would lead to high-quality players at other positions falling down the board and maybe into an area New England would feel comfortable trading up into to get one.
Trading up could certainly be in play: While it seems doubtful that the Patriots invest both their first-rounders to move up the board, a trade into the mid-teens is not out of the question. If the team diagnoses a player it likes – Harold Landry? Isaiah Wynn? Rashaan Evans? –, it certainly would have the ammunition to make a move up the board to go after him.
There will be two new quarterbacks in the AFC East after tonight: Both the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills are in need of new quarterbacks – and they will do all they can to get them tonight. The expectation is that both teams will be successful in their quest for new passers; the only question is who the two newest quarterbacks in the division will be. If the Browns indeed opt to pick Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson could be intriguing options for the two teams at their current spots.
No matter what happens over the next few hours, it will certainly be worth watching. Make sure to visit Pats Pulpit regularly for all the latest news, picks and analysis.