The New England Patriots appear to be eyeing trading up for a quarterback, and cornerback Stephon Gilmore looks like the piece that could give them an advantage.
With the 15th overall pick, the New England Patriots seem sure to be left out of getting one of the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft if they stand pat.
With lingering rumors they want to trade up, ESPN’s Dianna Russini reports the Patriots could trade cornerback Stephon Gilmore to get into the top-10.
One team in the top-10 said they’ve had calls with New England.
. @ diannaESPN thinks the Patriots could deal Stephon Gilmore in order to move into the top 10 of the NFL draft.
“I did speak to a team in the top 10 who told me that they’ve had calls with New England.” pic.twitter.com/ZceNEyGtnn
– Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 27, 2021
With an eye on the final year of his contract in 2021, trade rumors around Gilmore aren’t new. He has been a Pro Bowler in three of his four seasons in New England, including winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.
Even as he’ll turn 31 early in the season (Sept. 19), he would be a nice get for a lot of teams.
Stephon Gilmore is Patriots’ ace in the hole as they look to trade up
The Patriots reportedly called the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, who hold the fourth and eighth overall picks respectively, about what it would cost to get to those spots. Justin Fields appears to be the target, but Trey Lance or Mac Jones are also possibilities.
Another team with a top-10 pick stands out as a team who would engage the Patriots in trade talks.
The Dallas Cowboys have the No. 10 pick, with a clear need at corner that has many mock drafts giving them Patrick Surtain II or another of the top prospects at the position. Jerry Jones wants to win, and get back to the top of the NFC East. An incoming rookie would be a question mark, while Gilmore is a proven commodity to fortify the secondary.
Trading out of the 10th pick has to be on the radar. Dallas would move down only to No. 15, possibly get an extra draft and get Gilmore from the Patriots.
If one or more of the top quarterback prospects falls a bit, multiple teams will be trying to trade up. The Patriots are in the best position to make a major move up the board, with an All-Pro cornerback as the differentiating asset to supply an advantage.