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Former NFL WR Has 1 Player In Mind For The Patriots

A closeup of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick during a game.

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 21: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots walks off of the field after defeating the Chicago Bears 38-31 at Soldier Field on October 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

There are plenty of teams with very intriguing situations entering this week's NFL Draft, but the New England Patriots are right up towards the top of that list. After watching Tom Brady lead another team to a Super Bowl, Bill Belichick has gone on a historic spending spree, but one that does not preclude the team from taking a franchise quarterback if possible.

That may be difficult from where the team is now. At No. 15 in the first round, the five major quarterbacks in this year's draft may all already be gone, as it is expected to be one of the most quarterback-heavy drafts in history. Belichick has never been one for aggressive NFL Draft moves, but many believe this could be the year.

Count NFL Network's Nate Burleson among them. He thinks that North Dakota State's Trey Lance is the guy for the Pats, and that they should pull the trigger on whatever trade necessary to move up and get him, assuming the San Francisco 49ers opt for Mac Jones at No. 3.

"Holding the 15th overall pick, the Patriots must make a significant move to ensure they draft the quarterback of their choosing," Burleson wrote for "If I'm making the call, and if Trey Lance gets past San Francisco at No. 3, I'm doing whatever it takes."

It is hard to know just how high the New England Patriots would have to jump up from No. 15 to get their guy. There are a number of options for the big quarterbacks in the top 10, and other teams could also look to jump in to take one.

The Atlanta Falcons may try and build around Matt Ryan for one more big title run, but there are plenty of rumors that the team could be prepared to build for the future. Georgia native Justin Fields seems more likely if the team goes quarterback, but you can't totally count them out there.

The Detroit Lions are probably okay moving forward with Jared Goff for a year or two, but if the right quarterback falls to No. 7 it wouldn't be a total shock to see them go for it. The Carolina Panthers are reportedly looking into taking a quarterback, even after the Sam Darnold trade. The Denver Broncos are another possibility at No. 9, as Drew Lock hasn't established himself as the franchise QB there.

The 2021 NFL Draft begins with the first round on Thursday, April 29.