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Should Patriots trade up, down or out?

4/26/2011

Should the New England Patriots trade up, trade down or stay put with their bushel of draft picks?

ESPNBoston.com reporter Mike Reiss and senior writer John Clayton presented the possibilities in a Patriots draft "Hot Button" debate on the regional site.

Here are key salvos, but I recommend clicking on the link to read their full takes.

Reiss says Bill Belichick should trade out:

Barring an unexpected player falling down the board, the club should hit the sweet spots with a few of its first six selections, and then take the rest of the picks and push them into 2012 and perhaps even 2013.

It's all labor based. The possibility that teams' offseason programs will either be eliminated or significantly shortened as owners and players continue to play "courtroom football" creates a dynamic that could make it hard for rookies to make an immediate impact.

Clayton says the Patriots need to get Tom Brady some help by staying put if not trading up:

The only problem with moving backward this year -- or any year -- is that it lessens odds of finding a potential Pro Bowl pass-rusher or a long-term starter along the offensive line. Though the Patriots may not want to admit it, this is a critical year in their building efforts.

While Belichick has done a remarkable job in making the roster younger, the Patriots haven't won a playoff game since 2007. Tom Brady is still in his prime but he doesn't need volume added to the roster. He needs quality. The higher the draft choice the better the chance of getting that quality.

What philosophy do you think the Patriots should apply?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below this article.