Bill Belichick has plenty of potential trade partners when it comes to making a draft weekend deal. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Other than 2004, Bill Belichick has made draft weekend deals every year he’s been in charge of the Patriots. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With draft weekend approaching, which teams will be the most inclined to make some moves? From our viewpoint, in no particular order here are the five teams most likely to deal, as well as a couple of scenarios thrown in for good measure. (On this same topic, make sure you read this excellent piece from Andrew Healy at Football Outsiders on draft trade value. The biggest buyer of draft value since 2000 has been New England. The biggest seller? Washington.)

New England and Philadelphia — basically, football BFF’s Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly: Provided they stay in their current positions, these two will likely be trade partners for a very long time. Belichick was a semi-regular draft weekend trade partner with the Eagles when Andy Reid was in Philly, and given his background with Kelly, there’s certainly reason to think that there will be at least one swap this weekend between the Patriots and Eagles. For what it’s worth, since he took control of the Patriots in 2000, by our count, Belichick has made 102 trades. In all, he’s made the most deals with Oakland (9), followed by Denver, Chicago, Tampa Bay and Green Bay (all 6). That’s followed by Houston, New Orleans, Baltimore and Philly (5).

Atlanta: Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has been known to make a big splash from time to time — remember wide receiver Julio Jones? — and given the fact that Atlanta holds the eighth overall pick in the draft (and has a desperate need for a pass rusher), they could be one of those teams looking to potentially move up to take Vic Beasley or Dante Fowler, Jr., two individuals who may not make it out of the top 5.

Cleveland: In our chat with him on “NFL Sunday,” draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network pointed to the Browns and Ravens as two of the teams who might be more inclined to pull off a draft weekend deal. Cleveland has Nos. 12 and 19 in the first round — the Browns are one of two teams with two first-round selections. And based on what we saw last year with the big deal with the Bills, they certainly wouldn’t shy away from trying to swing a big first-round deal to try and move up. Cleveland certainly has some needs across the board, and will have a real chance to address those issues come Thursday.

Baltimore: Like Belichick, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is a big fan of compensatory picks, and while those can’t be dealt away, the three comp selections that Baltimore acquired this offseason — in addition to the fourth and fifth rounders Newsome got from Detroit in exchange for defensive tackle Haloti Ngata — certainly gives Newsome the sort of potential draft capital he might need if he wants to try and climb the board. One thing that Patriots fans might want to keep in mind here is that Newsome and Belichick are very tight (Belichick has made five draft weekend deals with the Ravens). If the Patriots see a potential target sliding down the board and could put together a package for Baltimore’s 26th overall pick, that certainly remains a possibility.

San Diego sends Chargers QB Philip Rivers to Tennessee for the No. 2 overall pick: This sounds like an interesting deal, but it apparently stalled out over the weekend. It would be a fascinating swap that would fundamentally be a Rivers-for-Mariota deal between San Diego and Tennessee, with multiple picks presumably going in both directions. While that would appear to mean the Chargers would be hitting the reset button with a rookie quarterback as opposed to the 33-year-old Rivers, as Jeremiah reminded us in our Sunday conversation with him, while the front office has changed in San Diego, the Chargers have never been shy about making big draft weekend deals. Individuals like Rivers (2004) and LaDanian Tomlinson (2001) landed in San Diego after draft swaps.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Many have wondered where Tom Brady was last Thursday when he didn’t attend the White House with the rest of his team as the Patriots were honored by President Obama.

Many have wondered where Tom Brady was last Thursday when he didn’t attend the White House with the rest of his team as the Patriots were honored by President Obama.

According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, Brady was present at Gillette Stadium for a stretch of time that the rest of the team was at the White House last Thursday. The team said Brady didn’t attend because of a prior family commitment.

A lot has been made of why Brady wasn’t in attendance, including a theory that he was upset with White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s comments in the aftermath of Brady’€™s Deflategate press conference in January where he questioned his integrity.

“For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots,” Earnest told reporters. “But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either.”

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Offensive tackle

School: Texas A&M

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 306 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-America third team (AP), 2014 All-SEC first team

What he brings: regards Ogbuehi as a “gifted athlete with foot quickness and ability to move easily in space.” He is well-conditioned and holds onto blocks until he wins. In playing both tackles as well as right guard during his time at Texas A&M, Ogbuehi had the chance to match up against top-level opponents. CBS Sports notes that he is “light on his feet and can adjust in space” and that he has a “rare combination of agility and length.” In 2014, though, he was one of the SEC leaders in sacks allowed, and his “technique flaws make pass protection harder than it has to be,” says.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-3

Notes: Ogbuehi tore his ACL in the Aggies’ bowl game and wasn’t completely healed, so he was unable to do a full pre-draft workout. His injury has the potential to keep him from going in the first round, maybe falling as low as the third, but Ogbuehi’s upside could have him anywhere in those first three rounds. He classifies himself as “boring” off the field, revealing that he mostly just plays football, works out, goes back to the house, and plays some video games. Ogbuehi’s parents are from Nigeria.

Related articles:

CBS Sports: A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi, the chubby kid Texas didn’t want, now a star LT

STACK News: Texas A&M OL Cedric Ogbuehi won’t let a torn ACL deter his NFL dreams

Dallas Morning News: Bob Sturm’s 2015 NFL Draft profile: What I see in Cedric Ogbuehi, T, Texas A&M

Video: Here is a video of Phil Savage breaking down Ogbuehi’s play.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Wide receiver

School: William & Mary

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 205 pounds

Achievements: 2015 East-West Shrine Game participant, 2014 All-CAA first team, 2013 All-CAA first team, 2013 CAA Special Teams Player of the Year

What he brings: McBride was very successful as both a receiver and a return man for William & Mary. Scouts are very impressed with his ability to make catches consistently. He is expected to continue to be able to use his athleticism and competitiveness to make acrobatic catches and plays on contested balls at the NFL level. The biggest concern among many scouts is his ability to create space before the ball gets to him. There are worries that he relies too heavily on his great ball skills instead of making it a bit easier on himself by getting separation before the catch. However, scouts agree that he improved as a route runner throughout his time at William & Mary and hope that he will continue to do so, which could make him a consistent big-play threat in the NFL.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-5

Notes: McBride led William & Mary in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and all-purpose yards in both 2012 and 2013. He led the conference in kick return yards in 2013. He ranks second in school history with 196 career receptions. The Georgia native finished his 2014 senior season with 64 receptions for 809 yards and four touchdowns. At the combine he recorded the fifth-best time among receivers in the 20-yard shuttle at 4.08 seconds. McBride missed one game in 2014 due to an ankle injury but did not miss any other time in his college career.

Related articles:

 Bleacher Report: McBride could prove to be big 2015 NFL draft steal McBride leads standouts from Shrine Game drills

Video: Here are some highlights from McBride’s William & Mary career.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.


Position: Cornerback

School: Oregon State

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 194 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-Pac-12 second team, 2013 All-Pac-12 honorable mention, 2013 Thorpe Award semifinalist for top defensive back

What he brings: Nelson is known primarily as a tough, physical player who excels when jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage and finishing plays in run defense. He also is expected to be competitive when fighting for contested balls, although there are concerns that his height may limit his effectiveness in this area. Scouts would like to see him cut down on penalties, as he was one of the most penalized corners in the nation in 2014. He is not the most athletic cornerback, but Nelson is expected to be difficult to play against, especially for smaller receivers.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 3-4

Notes: Nelson did not miss any time due to injury during his career at Oregon State. In 2014 he recorded 60 tackles and two interceptions. At the combine Nelson recorded the fourth-most reps in the bench press among corners (19).

Related articles:

The Oregonian: Nelson taking advantage of opportunities after second chance

Video: Here’s Nelson recording three tackles and a pass defended against Stanford in October 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

Stephen A.

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN and Sirius XM Radio checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning to explain his criticism of Tom Brady following the quarterback’s failure to join his Patriots teammates at the White House last week to recognize their Super Bowl victory. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

There has been speculation that Smith was implying race had a role in Brady’s decision to pass on meeting Barack Obama last Thursday, but Smith flatly denied that.

“It’s utterly ridiculous,” Smith said. “You’re going to have bloggers and folks in the media that react to bloggers and they try to use headlines to try to make a story. I never, ever, ever said, nor would I have called Tom Brady a racist. That’s ridiculous. … His reputation has been impeccable. He’s been class personified on every level. And it’s utterly ridiculous for people to go that route. But that’s the age that we’re living in. So be it. I’m a big boy, I can take it.”

Smith said he doesn’t know if Brady’s politics played a role, although in his rant last week he noted that Brady showed up for the three previous ceremonies in the early 2000s when Republican George W. Bush was in the White House.

“What I am saying is, you are the President of the United States of America. You respect the office, and if the man requests you, you show up,” Smith told D&C. “And if you don’t show up you either be straight up and honest and tell us, ‘You know what? This is why I’m not coming.’ Or you show up. What you don’t do is sit up there and say, ‘a family commitment.’ If it was a family emergency or something along that line, that would be different.

“I’m quite sure the owner, Mr. Robert Kraft, had commitments. I’m quite sure coach Bill Belichick, the de facto GM as well, had commitments. They showed up.”

Other marquee players such as Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch have missed such ceremonies in the past, but Smith said Brady stands out because of his reputation.

Tom Brady is Mr. Impeccable,” Smith said. “Tom Brady is the one that cares about his image down to the T — the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he dresses, the way he carries himself, the quotes that he gives, how politically correct he has always been. James Harrison will never be accused of that, Marshawn Lynch will never be accused of that.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Whichever team takes Todd Gurley will probably invest too much.</p>
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Position: Defensive tackle

School: Ohio State

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 293 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-America third team, 2014 All-Big Ten second team, 2013 All-Big Ten second team

What he brings: Bennett “displays outstanding balance and coordination through contact to work off blocks and keep his feet to be a factor in plays,” wrote Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. He is a “hyperactive defensive tackle with range, quickness and mental discipline,” Frank Cooney of CBS Sports noted. Bennett has violent, active hands and uses them to “snatch and pull guards off their spot,”’s Lance Zierlein wrote. While Bennett can dominate “sluggish or weak guards,” he might have trouble facing “true power guards” at the pro level and can sometimes run out of energy when he wastes motion as a pass rusher. When Urban Meyer became Ohio State’s coach in 2012, Bennett was considered stubborn and belligerent, according to However, he turned around his behavior after that year when he “decided he wanted to pattern his work ethic and leadership after former Buckeyes DE John Simon.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2

Notes: Bennett finished 2014 with 41 tackles, 20 solo, and 14 for losses totaling 65 yards. He also had seven sacks on the year and forced three fumbles. At Ohio State’s pro day Bennett ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash and posted a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Bennett, a team captain and leader, began the 2014 season wearing No. 63, but switched to No. 53 to honor fellow defensive tackle and teammate Kosta Karageorge, who died in November 2014 of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Bennett’s parents were both graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point. As such, he had a disciplined and strict childhood.

Related articles: Rise of Ohio State, Michael Bennett no coincidence

Sports Illustrated: Disciplined, down-to-earth Michael Bennett anchors Ohio State D-line

SB Nation: Ohio State’s Michael Bennett will silence the haters

OSU Football: Backbone of the Buckeyes

Video: Here is a Campus Insiders one-on-one interview with Bennett.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen