We’re quickly approaching the NFL draft and rumors, musings, and gut feelings are spreading like wildfire throughout the internet. Some are interesting, some are not, and some will astound us. Colin Cowherd’s most recent suggestion falls into that last category.
As Cowherd says, this is just his gut feeling, but it would be downright astonishing if Bill Belichick does what is suggested here. Belichick has the reputation of trading down like a madman, not trading up. In nearly 20 years at the helm, Belichick has traded up in the first round only twice: in 2012, to pick Dont’a Hightower, and in 2002, to take Daniel Graham. That’s it. Not to mention the fact that the most he ever moved up in the first was nine spots in the 2002 trade.
Belichick doesn’t trade up unless he loves a guy and he fits into a position of absolute need. Who on this draft board could justify the draft capital required to trade from 32 to eight? It would cost them at least one future first-rounder and four of the six picks the Pats have in the Top 100 this year. Sure, if an elite prospect like Quinnen Williams — or even Josh Allen — slides to the eighth pick, it would be worth it. But the Lions would probably take an elite guy who slides that far, and if they don’t, the already astronomical price of moving up 24 picks will be raised by other teams trying to do the same thing.
Would Belichick do it for a quarterback? It would be very out of character. Even if he’s convinced Brady is going to decline soon and wants to prove he can win without Brady, the Hoodie has always shown deep faith in their player development. He likes to take on players later in the draft that other teams have passed over because they’re projects. Not to mention that Brady would probably be very upset if the Pats traded five potential contributors in the form of draft picks for his successor, and things have finally cooled down after last offseason’s plethora of reported “tension” between Brady, Belichick, and Kraft. If there’s even a sliver of truth to any of those reports, it’s doubtful that Belichick would want to kick the hornets nest for the sake of saying he was right, especially as Kraft deals with his whole situation.
The only player who fits the profile of fitting a position of immediate need and a potential elite player is T.J. Hockenson. But could any of you possibly imagine Belichick trading half of his draft capital (and maybe a player or two) for a tight end not named Rob Gronkowski? It’s unlikely, to say the least. The Patriots may yet trade up on draft day, but it would be legitimately shocking if they went from 32 to eight next Thursday.