The likelihood of the New England Patriots having an opportunity to select one of the top five quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft at No. 15 overall in the first round is probably pretty slim.
Moving up would put the Patriots in a better position to get one of these players, and several potential trade partners are emerging.
The Carolina Panthers own the No. 8 pick, and they have held trade talks about the selection, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The New York Giants hold the No. 11 pick and aren't opposed to moving down, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The Miami Dolphins traded down from No. 3 to No. 12 in a deal with the San Francisco 49ers in late March, and then moved back up to No. 6 in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Dolphins, according to Rapoport, are willing to move back again.
For the Patriots to get one of the top five QBs in this class, moving into the top 10 might be necessary. Most mock drafts have Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Alabama's Mac Jones all being drafted within the first 10 picks.
Of course, it's always possible one of these players slides. It's happened plenty of times, most notably in 2005 when Aaron Rodgers fell all the way to the Green Bay Packers at No. 21 overall.
The price to move up has been pretty steep so far, though. The 49ers gave up three first-round picks and a third-rounder to go from No. 12 to No. 3. It was an enormous haul for the Dolphins.
The Patriots really aren't in a position to give up multiple first-rounders considering the age of their roster and the underwhelming returns from the team's most recent drafts. That said, if the Patriots really do feel that one of these quarterbacks can run the offense for the next decade, then the price might be worth it.
In any event, having multiple teams reportedly willing to trade back is a great scenario for the Patriots. It's always beneficial to have options.