With some loosened COVID-19 restrictions this year, NFL teams are starting to settle back into their typical draft-day setups ahead of opening night.
"After a year on Nantucket, it's good to be back at [Gillette Stadium] for #PatsDraft."
According to the NFL's COVID-19 regulations, a maximum of 20 individuals will be allowed in the draft room given proper mask and social distancing guidelines. If all those present are fully vaccinated, mask and social distancing regulations can be loosened.
With the previous draft taking place in an all-virtual format, this year's setup is far more complex than what the Patriots were dealing with last year. Belichick's home setup in 2020 went viral for its almost comical simplicity and the inclusion of his family dog, Nike.
Last year, the Patriots' first pick came with a second-round No. 37 overall selection. This year, Belichick and the front office have a lot more to work with. With the No. 15 overall pick in tonight's draft, the Pats have a good chance of landing a franchise-altering prospect.
Despite re-signing Cam Newton on a one-year deal already this offseason, quarterback uncertainty leaves that position as the presumed priority No. 1. With a stacked QB class in this year's draft, New England will likely select one of the top-five options later tonight. Some analysts have even predicted a move up in the order to select a preferred QB prospect.
With Belichick in his new-and-improved setup, opening night will kickoff tonight at 8 p.m. ET.