Brandin Cooks traded: Players Patriots could be targeting at No. 23 in 2018 NFL Draft

After moving Brandin Cooks — a player the Patriots traded a first-round pick to obtain in the 2017 offseason — to the Rams in exchange for Los Angeles’s first-rounder this year, New England suddenly has the No. 23 overall and No. 31 overall selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Which prospects could Bill Belichick be targeting with his new pick inside the Top 25?

Wide Receivers

D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. After a magnificent combine performance, Moore jumped into the first-round conversation. New England has a lengthy track record of drafting high-caliber athletes early, and the former Maryland star is outstanding athletically. Beyond that, he excels after the catch, not only with his 4.42 speed but with nimble footwork, subtle jukes, and plus balance to elude defenders in space. That skill has been central to the Patriots’ offense for quite some time now. Moving ahead of clubs like the Jaguars, Saints, Falcons, and especially the Panthers (who hold the No. 24 overall pick), the Patriots positioned themselves to get one of the most highly sought-after wideouts in this class. 

James Washington, Oklahoma State. While not a make-you-miss YAC receiver, Washington would immediately fill the deep-threat void created in the aftermath of the Cooks trade. Likely due to not quite being 6-foot and having timed speed of

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