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Patriots' draft approach won't change with lack of early-round picks

Every Saturday in the offseason, one question from Twitter will be selected to expound upon based on a hot topic surrounding the New England Patriots:

Brian, even though the Patriots currently don't pick until No. 72, early in the third round, they will still go through their normal process of scouting every player and building a complete draft board. This is something that director of player personnel Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick touch on often around this time of year, and what they generally say is that they never know when they might swing a trade and the picture changes in an instant.

They wouldn't want to enter the draft with incomplete information, or not go through their regular meeting process with prospects, and then have an unexpected opportunity present itself and not be able to capitalize. Also, the information they gather at this time can help in the decision-making process in the future with 2017 rookies who become free agents or become available in trades.

As for the in-house prospect meetings at Gillette Stadium that they are limited to, it's possible the Patriots might skew them a bit more toward players who are more likely to be available to them. But my sense is that it would be a minor tweak than a significant shift in that regard. A lot of those are used on prospects who have medical questions, or on whom the Patriots might have an outstanding question that needs to be answered.