Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports

Patriots' reported interest in trading up for Baker Mayfield almost impossible to believe

Alex Reimer
May 02, 2018 - 10:09 am

Baker Mayfield’s agent says the Patriots were interested in trading up for the No. 2 overall pick to select his client in the NFL Draft. It’s a great rumor and further fuels the Patriots melodrama we have all come to know and love. Too bad it’s so hard to believe. 

In an interview with the MMQB’s Andrew Brandt, Mayfield’s agent, Jack Mills, talked about the Patriots’ apparent desire to grab the Heisman trophy winner. The Browns, of course, selected Mayfield with the No. 1 pick. 

“(The Patriots) had No. 23 and No. 31 and two seconds," Mills said. "And we thought -- I don't know -- that's going to be a heck of a move to get up that high from where they are. And of course he wasn't available so we never knew if that was a reality or not.”

In recent years, teams have paid astronomical prices to move up in the draft for the purpose of picking a quarterback. Most infamously, the Redskins surrendered three first-round selections and a second-rounder for Robert Griffin III in 2012. Outside of RGIII’s impressive rookie campaign, he was a total bust in the nation’s capital. 

Two years ago, the Rams and Eagles both made big trades to get to the top of the first-round. Los Angeles, which was at No. 15, gave up two firsts, two seconds and two thirds to draft Jared Goff at No. 1. Philadelphia handed over two firsts, a second, third and fourth-rounder so it could grab Wentz at No. 2. While those trades look like they’ll work out, the Rams and Eagles still gave up incredible hauls in draft picks. 

Even teams that move up just a couple of spots in the first-round for quarterbacks have to give up loads of picks. Last year, the Bears surrendered the No. 3 overall pick, their third-round pick, a fourth-round pick and 2018 third-round pick to draft Mitch Tribusky at No. 2. The Jets moved from No. 6 to No. 3 this year to draft Sam Darnold, and had to give the Colts the No. 6 overall pick, two second-round choices this year and their second-rounder in 2019 

With that in mind, there’s little doubt Bill Belichick would’ve had to mortgage almost his entire draft board to the Giants so he could get up to No. 2 for Mayfield. According to the draft pick value chart, the fair asking price would’ve been both of the Patriots’ 2018 first-rounders and second-rounders, a future low second-rounder and two future third-round selections. All of that, mind you, for a player who would’ve almost certainly sat on the bench this season, and possibly next season as well.

Picking Tom Brady’s heir apparent remains the most pressing long-term issue the Patriots face. Still, it’s far-fetched to think they would’ve surrendered the draft capital necessary to make the franchise-altering move for Mayfield. It stinks when reality gets in the way of a good story.