We've talked about one of the keys to the 2011 NFL draft being what the New England Patriots decide to do in the first round. They hold three of the first 33 picks -- 17th, 28th and 33rd -- and are known as one of the most active trading teams on draft day.
So will they move up and snag someone? Will they move back in the first round?
They have at least explored the idea of moving up -- all the way to the sixth pick. This coming from Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe.
ESPN reported that the Patriots have shown an interest in moving up. A league source said the Patriots have spoken to the Browns about the sixth pick and Quinn would be the likely target, although receiver Julio Jones and cornerback Patrick Peterson cannot be discounted.
Interesting. This would throw a major wrench in the last two months of mock drafts. The Patriots are looking for a pass rusher and Bedard's story in the Boston Globe is pushing UNC's Robert Quinn.
Trading up all the way to the sixth pick doesn't seem like something the Patriots would do. It would be out of character for them, I think, to give up that many mid-level picks to acquire a top pick.
That said, if anyone is going to surprise us, it's going to be Bill Belichick. It should also be noted that the Patriots aren't the only ones interested in getting up to the top of the draft.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare for it - NFL mock drafts, draft proje