New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may draft a quarterback in the first round.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Patriots are one of four teams sending representatives to North Dakota State Bison quarterback Trey Lance’s second pro day in Fargo on Monday. The three other teams with representatives include the San Francisco 49ers, the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos. What are the chances New England ends up selecting Lance?
Will the Patriots trade up to take Trey Lance in NFL Draft?
What is also important in Breer’s reporting is what teams did not send a representative to watch Lance’s second pro day up in Fargo: The Chicago Bears, the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Football Team. It seems as though all three NFC teams are keen on rolling with their new starting quarterbacks for 2021 in Andy Dalton, Sam Darnold and Ryan Fitzpatrick, respectively. We get it.
The interesting thought about the Patriots being one of the four teams in attendance is that they will have to move up from No. 15 to get Lance. San Francisco is absolutely taking a quarterback at No. 3. While it remains to be seen if that guy will be Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones or even the North Dakota State product, Lance feels like the least likely of the three of them.
As for Atlanta, the Falcons could take homegrown product Fields or the developmental project in Lance. However, Atlanta has plenty of holes to address besides adding Matt Ryan’s backup for 2021 and 2022. The Falcons could take Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 4 but are in play to move back to No. 9 in a trade with Denver or to as far as No. 15 in a deal with New England.
Overall, if New England were to go with a quarterback, you could see the Patriots trading up to four with Atlanta to draft either Fields or Lance. If they were particularly keen on Jones, they might need to move up into the top 10, but he could potentially fall to them at No. 15. By sending staffers to Fargo to watch Lance’s second pro day, it means the Patriots are looking at trading up.
Lance would benefit from backing up a comparable prototype in Cam Newton for a season or two.