FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media Friday as he gets ready for the upcoming NFL draft but unsurprisingly, he offered very little about the team’s strategy.
“We evaluate the players in the draft and we look at our opportunities,” Belichick said. “As those opportunities come closer, we evaluate what our options are and try to do what we feel like is best, whether that’s stay and pick a player, move up for a player, move back and trade into next year.”
“We’ve traded draft picks for players on the day of the draft,” he continued. “We did that last year. So, whatever the opportunities are, we’ll evaluate them as they come and do what we think is best.”
Belichick has been making the rounds at pro days on college campuses. This spring’s stops included Alabama, NC State, South Carolina, Georgia and Ohio State.
The Patriots enter the draft with two first-round and two second-round picks, which should give them plenty of options over the three-day event.
The last time New England used two first-round picks, the front office struck gold in future Pro Bowlers Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.
The team has some needs to address, namely its future at quarterback. Tom Brady turns 41 in August and despite his plans to play until 45, TB12’s replacement is still TBD.
As it stands, the Patriots’ only backup is Brian Hoyer, who it seems was brought in only for insurance purposes after they traded Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett.
The team has drafted nine quarterbacks in the Belichick era. When asked if they plan to do so this year, Belichick said they’ll “do what’s best for the football team.”
“It would really just all depends on the individual player and circumstances,” Belichick added. “Some guys look good on film and they don’t in workouts. Some guys look good in the workouts and they don’t look good on film, vice versa. You just try to put it all together. The guys that do everything well, they’ll probably be gone in the first five picks of the draft.”
Belichick offered no details on Brady’s future.
“I’m happy to answer draft questions. I’m not going to get into everything else here,” he said, after being asked how long he thinks Brady will play.
The Patriots may also look to draft a left tackle following the departure of Nate Solder.
The 2018 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 26 and lasts until Saturday, April 28.