The 2019 NFL Draft is under a week away, and the New England Patriots will likely be adding to their offense during the event. After losing several offensive weapons, including tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement, the team seems to be focused on getting more weapons for Tom Brady. And it seems that they could move up to target some of the best ones in this draft class.
In his pre-draft conference call, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah spoke about the potential first-round picks at the tight end position, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Jeremiah thinks that both will be top 20 picks and said that the Patriots could be in a play for either if they trade-up.
I would think if either one of the Iowa tight ends started to drop and drift a little bit that would be one phone call away for the Patriots to go get them.
Jeremiah also mentioned Irv Smith Jr. as a potential option for New England, but he's not a player the team would likely trade up for in the first round.
Given the needs that the Patriots have at the tight end position, this would be a sensible move. The team has only added Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Matt LaCosse this offseason while losing Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen. So, adding an early-round draft pick with starter potential should strengthen that position.
Also, the Patriots are armed with 12 picks this year, so they will be able to move around the board at will, as they typically do. If either Hockenson or Fant slips, seeing the Patriots trade up from the No. 32 pick to grab them would definitely fill a big hole.
In a mock draft from earlier this month, our own Phil Perry actually had the Patriots trading up for Hockenson. To see what it would take to make that kind of a move, click here.
It's also worth noting that the Patriots brought in Fant for a pre-draft visit. We'll have to wait and see if anything comes of this, but it seems that their interest in him is legitimate.
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