Every Saturday throughout the offseason, one question from Twitter will be selected to further explore a relevant topic around the New England Patriots.
@MikeReiss sorry if you've answered this before, with Pats 1st rd pick taken away, can they trade into 1st? If so, do you expect them to?— Aaron Werenko (@Werenko) April 21, 2016
Aaron, this is a good topic to revisit as the draft approaches. The Patriots can trade into the first round, but as part of the NFL's Deflategate penalties they would have to surrender whatever pick is highest -- what they acquired or the No. 29 pick that was taken away by the league.
In late March, I wrote about the team's back-to-back picks in the late second round, at No. 60 and 61, and how high the club might be able to move. Going by one version of the value chart that some teams use for trades, the Patriots could potentially package those picks and get into the low 30s.
I'd rate that possibility as highly unlikely, as I think the team values two picks over one in that scenario because the difference between the players in the late 30s to early 60s isn't significant enough.
A more likely scenario to me is the Patriots using one of their sixth-rounders to move up slightly in the second round if a player they covet is sliding within range.
Running back, cornerback, defensive tackle, offensive tackle and wide receiver are the positions I think the club will target early if the right players are available.