Thursday, April 26, 2012
Are Patriots looking to move up?
By James Walker
Did New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watch ESPN.com's blogger mock draft on Monday? It seems that way after Thursday's report by Albert Breer of the NFL Network that New England has had talks with the Seattle Seahawks about moving up to the No. 12 pick.
In Monday's blogger mock draft, I had those same trade talks with NFC West/Seattle general manager Mike Sando. The Seahawks are open to moving down in this draft, and New England has plenty of draft capital to move up, although it's not the road the Patriots often take.
Looking at the point chart, Sando and I worked out a trade to send New England's two first-round picks (No. 27 and No. 31) to Seattle for its first- and fourth-round picks. The Patriots could be considering a similar trade. But the big question is, who's the target who reportedly caught New England's eye to try to pull off such a big move?
For me, it was Alabama safety Mark Barron. He's the best safety in this draft and would make an immediate impact to fix New England's 31st-ranked pass defense. I also think Barron is one of the safest picks in this draft and a great match for the Patriots. But there are other players, such as defensive lineman Michael Brockers or cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the Patriots could have interest in.
Of course, phones are ringing all over the NFL today, and this is just one of many scenarios. But I think this is one possibility worth keeping an eye on.