Mock Draft Simulator: Here's What it Took to Get Patriots a Top 5 Draft Pick
There was a little bit of chatter on Thursday as to what it would take for the New England Patriots to move up in the 2020 NFL Draft to acquire one of this year's top quarterbacks. The quarterback mentioned as an option for the Patriots was Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, as he was coached by Bill Belichick's good friend Nick Saban is even considered by some as the best QB in this year's class ahead of LSU's Joe Burrow. However, since Cincinnati seems to have their heart pegged on drafting Burrow, Tagovailoa could be available as late as the 4th overall pick.
While the idea of New England dumping all assets onto the table to move up and get Tagovailoa seems a bit crazy, I wanted to see what it would take for New England to leapfrog the Dolphins - who are the next team after the Bengals that would seemingly draft a QB - in this year's draft. What I found made me chuckle a bit, and I wanted to share my results with everyone so you could get a grasp of the assets the Patriots would have to give up in order to make this wild trade happen.
Keep in mind when looking at these results, which were gathered from Pro Football Network's draft simulator, that no players could be traded for draft picks, so this trade was made by solely exchanging draft picks. Also note that draft picks beyond 2021 could not be traded, so 2020 and 2021 draft picks were the only options available in the trade.
Because the Dolphins have the No. 5 overall pick this year, a trade with the Giants - who have the No. 4 overall pick - was the best option available, as it would require giving up the least amount of draft capital as opposed to trading for the No. 2 overall pick, which the Redskins currently possess, or the No. 3 overall pick, which the Lions possess.
Here were the results:
23rd overall pick
87th overall pick
98th overall pick
100th overall pick
2021 1st rounder
2021 2nd rounder
2021 3rd rounder
4th overall pick
In this scenario the Patriots had to sacrifice a lot - and I mean A LOT - of valuable draft picks. Executing this trade means after selecting 4th overall the Patriots would not make another selection until the 4th round and wouldn't be able to make their first selection in 2021 until the end of the 3rd round, assuming they earn a compensatory selection for Tom Brady.
In case you were curious, here's how the remainder of the 2020 draft played out for the Patriots in the simulator:
125. Devin Asiasi (TE)
172. Evan Weaver (ILB)
195. Rodrigo Blakenship (K)
204. Jake Hanson (C)
212. Trevis Gipson (DE)
213. Chapelle Russell (OLB)
230. Jacob Breeland (TE)
241. Grayland Arnold (S)
Now, as mentioned before, the trade that moves New England up to No. 4 was solely executed with draft picks. If the Patriots added players into the package, it would obviously lessen the amount of draft picks they would have to sacrifice to make that trade happen.
As mentioned Thursday by Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, All-Pro guard Joe Thuney - who was franchised last month and has a $14.7 million cap hit for the 2020 season - is a prime trade candidate if New England can't sign him to an extension. Packaging Thuney with draft picks to move up in the draft would actually make more sense than trading away seven early to mid round draft picks. But that was what the simulator offered for options, so giving a visual under those circumstances seemed like a fun and interesting way to portray a move that is very un-Belichickean.
While getting a player of Tagovailoa's caliber would undoubtedly be an exciting move in the post-Tom Brady era, doing such would come at a great cost, a cost that most likely is too high for Bill Belichick's liking.