3 Patriots Trade Targets Heading Into the NFL Draft

Three potential trade targets for the New England Patriots heading into the 2024 NFL Draft.
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11)
Oct 25, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Aiyuk is far from the only star wideout involved in trade rumors right now, though. The biggest fish in the sea is Justin Jefferson, who's now in a strange spot with the Minnesota Vikings, as his squad looks toward a rebuild.

The Vikings are clearly the weakest team in their own division now following Kirk Cousins' departure and the resurgence of the other three squads. Considering Jefferson's truly elite talent, he may not be excited by the prospect of playing for top picks while Minnesota looks for its next top quarterback.

With JJettas also looking to reset the WR market as he seeks his first extension, it's at least possible the Vikings explore a full reset and trade him away for a king's ransom.

If that's the case, New England has to be taken seriously as a threat.

The Patriots could give Minnesota the solution to its QB problems by offering a trade package for Jefferson centered around the No. 3 pick. Then the Vikings would be guaranteed to land one of Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels or J.J. McCarthy, providing them a great chance to replacing Cousins under center.

Obviously, the Pats have their own need at quarterback, so landing a star receiver before addressing that pressing issue is kind of a backward approach. And if Jefferson is open to leaving Minnesota in search of a contender, New England doesn't stand out as the most logical choice.

This proposal ultimately comes down to how much the Pats like the top QBs. If they're not confident in one of the second-tier trio, there's no point in wasting that capital, and a trade (to either acquire a star at a position of need or accumulate more picks) has to be explored.

Other quarterbacks could be drafted later that won't require as much of an investment, like Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix, so it's not like New England has to punt on a signal-caller altogether. If they hit on a later guy and pick up Jefferson in the process, the path to contention gets a whole lot easier.