2021 NFL Mock Draft: Pats get busy by landing their QB, trading Gilmore


When Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff exchanged teams over the weekend, our prediction for the 32 starting quarterbacks in 2021 predictably went up in flames. So let's scrap that and start again, shall we? 

For this mock draft that trade between the Lions and Rams will of course weigh heavily on the results. But let's also presume that Deshaun Watson is dealt -- not to the Patriots. And let's presume that, with options dwindling, the Patriots end up with the quarterback option that feels inevitable for them. 

In this exercise, we have the Patriots trading their second-rounder to the San Francisco 49ers for Jimmy Garoppolo. (The Niners, for their part, dealt a package of future picks to the Vikings for Kirk Cousins.) And we also have Bill Belichick signing one of the receivers in this year's deep free agent class.

From there, how would the Patriots then build around Garoppolo in the draft? Not the way you might think. Partly because of the way in which the draft falls here, partly because of Patriots needs at positions of value, and partly because of the number of talented pass-catchers who'll be available to Belichick in later rounds. 

2021 NFL Mock Draft: How might Patriots build around Jimmy Garoppolo?