Weapons, weapons and more weapons.
A year removed from Bill Belichick pulling the trigger on a wide receiver in the first round for the first time as the New England Patriots’ head coach, a deep receiver class has people wondering if they will address that position once again early in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb are pipe dreams but let’s be real, none of them are falling in the Patriots’ lap at pick number 23. However, there is a great tier of receivers right behind this trio that New England could actually be in play for at different parts in the draft depending if the team does pick at 23 or opts to trade back for another pick later in the second or third round.
Now, back to what I said earlier, I doubt the Patriots will select a wide receiver at pick 23 — unless someone they really like (i.e. Justin Jefferson out of LSU) falls into their lap. Why? Because that would be investing a lot of draft capital into one position over the course of the last year alone. Dating back to the 2019 draft, New England selected N’Keal Harry in the first round and later traded a second-rounder in this year’s draft to acquire Mohamed Sanu last November.
Will Bill Belichick really invest two first-round picks and a second all in one year at one position? Highly unlikely.
Luckily, this class is booming with talent at the wide receiver position and is one of the deepest classes in recent memory. Guys like K.J. Hamler (Penn State), Michael Pittman Jr. (USC), Tee Higgins (Clemson), Jalen Reagor (Texas Christian) — to name a few — will likely be available on Day Two of the draft and can provide some talent and youth to the Patriots’ current wide receiver depth chart.
There’s other positional groups that the Patriots need to inject some talent and youth into, though, which makes it seem likely they might want to target other positions with some of their earlier picks as well.
However, within their current four top-100 picks, they are a little too spread out and back-loaded to truly find some immediate help at positions of need. The most ideal situation to get the most value at multiple positions early on would therefore be a trade-out of the first round.
For example, a team like the Indianapolis Colts, that doesn’t have a first-round selection after dealing for DeForest Buckner, could be interested in the 23rd overall selection (and a later pick thrown in), with two seconds to likely offer back in numbers 33 and 44.
This would give the Patriots the ability to draft somebody that may have fallen out of the first round at 33 that can provide an immediate spark to that positional group, and then turn around to select a member of that deep wide receiver class at pick 44.
Now, obviously this is just one trade example — there are other teams that own multiple second-round selections or a second and an early third-rounder, like the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
If the Patriots want to fully invest and build around projected starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham for the future, getting him as much help at both the wide receiver and tight end position is imperative to building a strong core for the future. The same, however, goes with addressing other positions all over the roster.
Whenever the Patriots go after a wide receiver this year, they can find a lot of talent and help anywhere from rounds one through four. This doesn’t happen too often and speaks for how deep this draft class is at the position.