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Despite big split with draft picks, Nick Caserio says Patriots will be ready

New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio held the team's annual pre-draft news conference at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, and one topic of note was how the team approaches the wide split in its picks this year.

Without fourth- and fifth-round selections, the Patriots are scheduled to pick at No. 96 and wouldn't be on the clock again until No. 196 (all Patriots picks).

Caserio was asked the challenges that come with such a long delay.

"The most important thing is knowing the draft from top to bottom," he answered. "A couple of years ago, I think we went into the draft with five picks and ended up with more. So it can move both ways. I think the most important thing is knowing the players, knowing who you're talking about, and then if you are going to make a decision to [trade] up from where you are, who are you moving up for and what is the rationale?

"You're trying to weigh out a number of different things as you're going through it. We're prepared to pick either way, whether it's from 96 to 196 [or] whether we move. We're flexible. I think you have to keep an open mind with a lot of this. Nothing is really set in stone, if you will. It's pretty fluid and you just have to be prepared whenever your opportunity comes."