FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio said that Thursday night's trade with the Minnesota Vikings did not begin to materialize until shortly before the Patriots were set to make the 29th overall selection.
"We were ready to pick," Caserio said. "We had a few players in mind that we were going to talk about to consider picking, and then we decided to make the move that we did. No question, we had players, a player, we would have taken."
Caserio said that trade talks with other teams persisted even as the Vikings dialed up New England "a pick or two out" before the Patriots were set to make their choice.
"We had conversations throughout, I would say, once we got to a certain point in the middle of the draft," he said. "We had some exchanges back and forth and as we got a little closer there were a few more calls."
The Patriots netted extra picks in the second, third, fourth, and seventh rounds in exchange for the 29th pick, which the Vikings used to select wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
"It's an opportunity to add more players to our team," Caserio said. "We feel pretty good about going into tomorrow. We have four picks and went into the day potentially having only two picks."
As far as what's available on Friday night, Caserio pointed out that players who the Patriots targeted with the 29th pick remain on the board, and didn't rule out the possibility of them trading up."
"If some of those players start to come off then we want to make a move up, we have maybe a little more flexibility to do that," Caserio said. "I think we're open to anything at this point, so we'll have to see how it unfolds once we get started."