Morning sports update: Mel Kiper projects Patriots trade up, draft a quarterback in the first round

"Don't rule out a big move if Belichick & Co. want to get their quarterback of the future."

Trey Lance Mock Draft
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance in 2020. AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

The Celtics suffered a third consecutive defeat on Wednesday, losing 127-112 to the Hawks. Boston is now two games below .500 at 15-17.

Also on Wednesday, the United States won the She Believes Cup with a 6-0 win over Argentina. Massachusetts native Kristie Mewis got on the scoresheet with a quality finish:

And tonight, the Bruins face the Islanders at 7 p.m.

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft: Though the NFL draft is still more than two months away (it begins on Thursday, April 29), the speculation for it is already building.

In his latest mock draft for ESPN, NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. projects a flurry of trades in the first round. Among them is a theoretical shocker: Bill Belichick and the Patriots trading into the top-10 to select a quarterback.


New England hasn’t picked in the top 10 since selecting Jerod Mayo 10th overall in 2008, and Kiper thinks the Patriots will trade up to the ninth pick (currently owned by the Broncos).

“Bill Belichick is known more for trading down in drafts, but the Patriots traded up a couple of times on Day 2 last year to get guys they wanted in Josh Uche and Devin Asiasi,” wrote Kiper. “Don’t rule out a big move if Belichick & Co. want to get their quarterback of the future.”

The projected terms of the trade are the Patriots sending the 15th pick (New England’s original first round placement), a second-round pick, and a 2022 pick (potentially a first-rounder according to Kiper).


With the ninth pick, the longtime draft analyst thinks Belicick will seek his quarterback of the future.

Trey Lance, winner of the 2019 Walter Payton Award (given to the top FCS player), is seen by some as the most intriguing prospect of the 2021 draft. At 6-foot-4 and with good speed, Lance also possesses a great ability as a passer (throwing 28 touchdowns with zero interceptions in 2019).

For Kiper, New England’s trade reflects not only the team’s longterm need for a new quarterback, but also the short term reality of offseason availability at the position.

“The veteran QB trade market has dwindled,” Kiper noted. “I could see a Jimmy Garoppolo return to New England, but I’m not sold that he’d be the long-term answer. Lance could be. He started only 17 career games in college — all against FCS competition — but he’s only 20, and he has all the tools to be a great dual-threat quarterback. Remember that the Patriots have a few players returning after opting out of last season, too, so they could contend in the AFC East again.”


Trivia: Who was the last North Dakota State quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He is no longer with the team that drafted him.

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