Bill Belichick struck again in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, trading out of pick No. 23 to acquire additional second- and third-round selections. With a league-high five Day Two picks, New England will be quite busy on Friday. There is plenty of talent remaining on the board, so let’s reset and predict the Patriots’ Day Two moves.
(Trade value calculations according to Rich Hill’s value chart)
Second Round, 37th Overall: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
After trading down in the first round, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said the Patriots “can take the same player at No. 37 that they would have taken at No. 23.” That is exactly what happens here, as New England picks up a player who has previously drawn comparison to former Patriot Trey Flowers. Epenesa’s size, power, and versatility provide a perfect fit for the Patriots’ defense, and he could be the best run defender at his position in the entire draft.
Trade: New England trades No. 71 and 100 (103 points) to the Los Angeles Rams for No. 57 and 199 (100 points)
After the Round One trade, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said the additional picks “gives you some flexibility to maybe move them around in the middle there a little bit.” That is exactly what New England does here. The Patriots take their newly acquired third-round selection and pair it with one of their original third-round picks to move back into the second round (and pick up the 199th overall selection along the way).
Second Round, 57th Overall: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
New England finally gets a new tight end as the team selects Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet with the 57th overall pick. Kmet checks all the boxes from the Patriots’ perspective: he has the size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), physicality, strong hands, versatile, and has strong yards after the catch ability. The Patriots are reportedly fond of the 21-year-old, and he even could be in play at No. 37.
Third Round, 87th Overall: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
The Patriots get more help on the offensive side of the ball in the late third round, this time at the wide receiver position. The former Florida Gator is a wicked route runner and has outstanding hands. New England’s receivers struggled with separation last season, but hat would be no issue for Van Jefferson. His size (6-foot-2, 197 pounds) will allow him to play from the outside or the slot, and he should immediately become a contributor in the NFL.
Third Round, 98th Overall: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
New England gets a quarterback with the 98th overall selection. While the hype has risen for Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts recently, Georgia’s Jake Fromm still screams Patriots. Fromm started 42 games for Georgia, while leading the Bulldogs to the National Championship his freshman year. He showed off impressive football intelligence and command of the offense, along the way, while even being responsible for calling protections and audibles at the line of scrimmage. With just Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer on the roster, New England will certainly take a quarterback at some point this draft. The competition to replace Tom Brady is officially on.
What do you think the Patriots will do with their five day two selections? Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines