As the 2021 NFL Draft draws nearer and nearer, the New England Patriots' quarterback situation continues to be the talk of the town.
Currently, Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham are still the top two quarterbacks on the roster. Newton re-signed with the team during free agency and is expected to fight for the starting job. Meanwhile, Stidham is entering what will be a make-or-break third season for the former fourth-round pick out of Auburn.
The Patriots have remained steadfast in their support for both passers this offseason.
That said, they could still be looking to draft a potential-packed quarterback. There has been plenty of buzz around them taking one of the top-five quarterbacks in this year's draft if any fall to the No. 15 spot.
Additionally, there has been buzz about the potential for a Patriots trade up to grab a player that they like, possibly a quarterback, in the top 10. But is that realistic, or is it just fantasy?
On the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, Tom E. Curran was joined by former Patriots scout and Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff to discuss whether or not Bill Belichick would consider a move up in this draft class.
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While Dimitroff wouldn't categorically rule out a trade, he did mention that it would be difficult for the Patriots to move up into the top-10 solely because of what it would cost them to do so. And per Dimitroff, teams picking early won't settle for undervalued trades just to pick up extra picks.
"Let me start by saying, it's not easy at [pick] four, five, and six to trade back," Dimitroff said. "People start suggesting, 'Well you just trade back', if you're at the fourth pick overall and you're not sure about a quarterback, if you don't want to take a tight end that high, get back and get picks Everyone thinks that's easy. It's a lot easier 20 to 32 to trade back than it is in the top 10 knowing how much it's going to cost.
"So then, flip it over to Bill and the Patriots thinking about moving up from 15 to the early part of the draft to look at one of those quarterbacks. That's an expensive acquisition to be honest with you."
This certainly makes sense. It's far more costly to move up the earlier the pick is in the draft. Just look at what the 49ers paid to move up from the 12th pick to the No. 3 overall pick earlier this offseason. They gave the Dolphins the No. 12 pick, two future first-round selections, and a third-round pick in 2022.
The Patriots would probably have to pay a similar price to go from 15 into the top six or so picks. That's a hefty cost and it's why the Patriots have, under Belichick, largely avoided making major moves up. More often than not, when they trade, they have traded down.
That's why Dimitroff thinks that the team is more likely to stay put or make a minor move as opposed to making a splashy trade up.
That may not be what fans necessarily want to hear, but it doesn't mean that the Patriots will eschew the quarterback position entirely as they did in last year's draft. They could still hold out hope that one makes it to the 15th pick or they could target a player like Kellen Mond in the second round of the draft.
Also discussed in the new episode: Dimitroff explains why the Patriots' draft picks don't always match national grades and 'Big Boards' and how the team builds their draft board. Plus, will will five quarterbacks actually go in the top 10 on draft day?