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Perry: Making a case for the Patriots to trade up on Day 2

/ by Phil Perry
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The Patriots did what they had to do to address a real need on Thursday night. The question is now, how many more remain on the roster? 

Because of a whirlwind spending spree earlier this offseason, the glaring holes on the 2021 roster are few and far between.

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Could they use a dynamic slot receiver, a quick separator to take advantage of their new young quarterback's strengths? Sure.

Could they use a high-end swing tackle to sit behind Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown in case one or both miss time in 2021 (both could be free agents after the year)? No doubt.

What about a corner? Stephon Gilmore's contract situation needs fixing. JC Jackson is on a one-year contract after signing his restricted free-agent tender. Yup, they could add there as well. 

But when you take a look at an incredibly early version of the Patriots 53-man roster for 2021, it becomes kind of apparent that there aren't a ton of jobs up for grabs.

QB (3): Cam Newton, Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham

RB (5): Damien Harris, Sony Michel, JJ Taylor, James White, Brandon Bolden

WR (6): Nelson Agholor, N'Keal Harry, Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, Matthew Slater, Gunner Olszewski

 

TE (5): Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Jakob Johnson

OL (7): Isaiah Wynn, Mike Onwenu, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Trent Brown, Ted Karras, Justin Herron

ST (3): Nick Folk, Joe Cardona, Jake Bailey

OLB (4): Kyle Van Noy, Josh Uche, Matt Judon, Chase Winovich

ILB (4): Raekwon McMillan, Dont'a Hightower, Anfernee Jennings, Ja'Whaun Bentley

DT (6): Davon Godchaux, Deatrich Wise, Lawrence Guy, Carl Davis, Byron Cowart, Henry Anderson

S (4): Adrian Phillips, Devin McCourty, Kyle Dugger, Cody Davis

CB (7): Jonathan Jones, JC Jackson, Stephon Gilmore, Justin Bethel, Myles Bryant, Jalen Mills, Joejuan Williams

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If your math is good, you'll see that's actually 54 players. So the Patriots would have to part ways with several of these in order to make room for several draft picks to make the team. 

Joejuan Williams could be put on notice. Same for N'Keal Harry, who already has been to a certain extent after he found his name in trade rumors this offseason. Maybe one or two of this year's offseason additions don't end up sticking. 

But, for the most part, the Patriots have a roster filled out with quality starters and serviceable backups. 

So with that said, maybe a trade up -- or two -- should be on our collective radar on Day 2 of the NFL draft. 

With so much draft capital (nine picks) still remaining and very few realistic roster spots, perhaps the Patriots would continue their uncharacteristically aggressive offseason, package selections together and move up in the second round (from pick No. 46) or in the third round (from pick No. 96) to ensure they find players they like. 

Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore could be a trade-up target near the top of the second round. Same goes for UCF safety and Senior Bowl standout Richie Grant.

Michigan's Nico Collins and Western Michigan's D'Wayne Eskridge might be players who'd require a big jump up from No. 96 if the Patriots want them. Ditto for Wisconsin-Whitewater offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz.

Just something to keep in mind. The Patriots have already worked hard to fill out the majority of their roster. Day 2 of the draft should be about maximizing what few available 53-man spots may realistically be left. Could mean some wheeling and dealing inside the Patriots war room.