The Patriots may have their eye on the best remaining quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft and could be willing to trade up for him, all but ending Mac Jones’ career.
With the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft just a few hours away, one central question could define Day 2: Who will take Will Levis?
Once widely mocked as a de facto first-round pick, the Kentucky quarterback has fallen out of the first round and could now be taken off the board as soon as pick No. 32, which is held by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers were reportedly fielding calls about a potential picks trade before the first round ended, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has named four teams that could want to trade up into the top of the second round. One of those teams is the New England Patriots.
Seeing the Pats trade up for Levis wouldn’t be inconceivable as the franchise has been bombarded with more and more Mac Jones shopping rumors this offseason.
What might a Pats-Steelers picks trade look like?
Pats could move up to pick No. 32 and draft Will Levis to supplant Mac Jones
2023 No. 46 overall
2023 No. 76 overall
2023 No. 107 overall
2023 No. 120 overall
2023 No. 32 overall
2023 No. 80 overall
The Pats and Steelers have already conducted business in the first round of the draft: New England traded the No. 14 pick to the Steelers for the No. 17 and No. 120 pick.
As part of a package to get that 32nd overall pick, the Pats could send the fourth-round pick back to the Steelers along with the No. 46 and No. 107 picks; the two teams would also swap third-round picks.
New England, after all, currently holds four fourth-round picks this draft and could send away a few of them in return for the franchise’s quarterback of the future in Levis.
This all hinges on the tacit understanding that the Patriots want to move on from Jones despite screwing him over in 2022. After Day 1, Will Levis stands alone as the top quarterback remaining and could be considered a tier above the likes of Hendon Hooker, Tanner McKee, and others.
It’s worth noting that the Pats hosted Levis for a top-30 visit earlier this month, and Bill Belichick’s structured offensive scheme may be an ideal fit for a raw, less refined talent like Levis. The Kentucky prospect is much more physically gifted than Bailey Zappe, and the two might complement each other well and serve as equally moldable works in progress for Belichick.
Then again, Belichick drafted Zappe in the fourth round of last year’s draft and may yet again wait until the later rounds if he does decide to select Jones’ potential replacement.
We’ll just have to see what fun festivities Day 2 holds.
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