Skip to content

Patriots trade up again, land Dont’a Hightower

Dont+Hightower+Tennessee+v+Alabama+TKdmQqp05D_l Getty Images

Bill Belichick has long been known for trading down on draft day.

So, naturally, he traded up twice in the first round of this year’s event. Four picks after grabbing Chandler Jones to bolster their pass rush, the Patriots helped out their linebacking corps by drafting Dont’a Hightower from Alabama, coached by Belichick’s good buddy Nick Saban.

Hightower had long been linked with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Pittsburgh opted to take David DeCastro with the 24th pick instead. That left Hightower for the Patriots and they made a trade with the Broncos to get the 25th overall selection. They gave up the 31st overall pick as well as a fourth round pick, the 126th overall.

It will be interesting to see how the Patriots use Hightower. He played all over the place with the Crimson Tide and was able to have an impact as both a pass rusher and a run stopper. New England could use a little bit of help in each of those areas, but there are questions about whether Hightower has enough speed to hold up in coverage.

Permalink 46 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Draft, New England Patriots, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
46 Responses to “Patriots trade up again, land Dont’a Hightower”
  1. sg419 says: Apr 26, 2012 10:28 PM

    All of the highlights of Hightower would have been penalties  in the NFL

  2. i, flounder says: Apr 26, 2012 10:28 PM

    he should be out of the league shortly like every other patriots draft pick that isn’t a te.

  3. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 26, 2012 10:30 PM

    BB that joker him, this is the draft when he uses all the picks he stockpiled in the past 5 drafts, sneaky guy bill

  4. juststeel says: Apr 26, 2012 10:32 PM

    Pats making a move for another SB

  5. homelanddefense says: Apr 26, 2012 10:33 PM

    Well BB is certainly going for it. Two trades up. D def younger and more athletic now. Hopefully these guys pan out. A little worried about taking 2 guys with knee injuries in their past.

  6. nemallow says: Apr 26, 2012 10:35 PM

    I LOVE IT

  7. egonpeon says: Apr 26, 2012 10:37 PM

    Bilichick the genius really bolstered his defense here. All coaches should aspire to be half as good at talent counting as he his.

  8. kaiesko says: Apr 26, 2012 10:41 PM

    At least they’re finally using their draft picks….

  9. jluns275 says: Apr 26, 2012 10:45 PM

    Wow. Excellent 1st round for the Pats. I guess it’s safe to say Belicheck didn’t like having a 32nd ranked defense.

  10. cooklynn17 says: Apr 26, 2012 10:48 PM

    The Jets are about to feel this.

  11. yourrealitybites says: Apr 26, 2012 10:51 PM

    He should be just fine, going from being coached by a liar to being coached by a cheater. How happy he must be.

  12. tedmurph says: Apr 26, 2012 10:56 PM

    PATS HIT A GRAND FREAKIN’ SLAM

  13. rebel21das says: Apr 26, 2012 11:04 PM

    Beast mode! Patriots are finally using their picks in the first round…… Hightower will definitly help in the tackling department for New England. Another fine pick ….. can’t wait to see Dont’a Hightower in a Pats uniform! So nice to see two impact players drafted in the first round by the Patriots.

  14. tiffpats4eva says: Apr 26, 2012 11:07 PM

    That’s my Belichick.

  15. girlsinthesouthlovefootball says: Apr 26, 2012 11:15 PM

    What a STEAL!!!

  16. rebel21das says: Apr 26, 2012 11:15 PM

    My my my ……. Mayo, Spikes, and Hightower!!! That’s just wow!

  17. pfii63 says: Apr 26, 2012 11:17 PM

    GREAT pick. Go Pats!

  18. barometerrrrising says: Apr 26, 2012 11:21 PM

    Well well well, I guess Belichick practices what he preaches. For almost a decade I have watched in frustration as the Pats stockpiled and traded away their 1st round picks. BB always said there was seldom any value in the first round – too expensive for the risk. Now that a cap is in place, he cashed in on the stockpiled picks. Finally!

  19. winninitall says: Apr 26, 2012 11:23 PM

    I honestly say the pats don’t draft well. They just have a lot of draft pics and expect one of those pics to hit the nail. Just look on how many TE they drafted two years ago, also look on how many players they don’t sign or drop after training camp.

  20. nodindenver says: Apr 26, 2012 11:31 PM

    Broncos traded guy I wished they would have taken!!!!! Way to go EFX.

  21. gazzzmann says: Apr 26, 2012 11:37 PM

    Round 2 Wide reciever,O-lineman and back to super bowl

  22. sod61 says: Apr 26, 2012 11:41 PM

    bill going for it now. knows brady’s time is getting short. once brady’s gone we will see how much of a genius belicheat is.

  23. rebel21das says: Apr 26, 2012 11:44 PM

    I’m hoping they grab a corner or maybe a safety

  24. jjmurphy1127d says: Apr 26, 2012 11:45 PM

    winninitall says:
    Apr 26, 2012 11:23 PM
    I honestly say the pats don’t draft well. They just have a lot of draft pics and expect one of those pics to hit the nail. Just look on how many TE they drafted two years ago, also look on how many players they don’t sign or drop after training camp.

    TE’s in 2010 draft – are you sure that you want to use them as your evidence that the Pats “don’t draft well”?

    Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez look pretty good from here.

    I’d say that the Pats – until tonight – often traded down & acquired more picks to take more swings & save cap spacce under the old CBA system. So naturally, they have more misses, but also more hits than most (e.g., Brady, Seymour, Wilfork, Branch, Samuel, Mayo, Mankins, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Mesko, etc.)

  25. habsman says: Apr 26, 2012 11:48 PM

    Look for D-line or safety focus tomorrow.

  26. jjmurphy1127d says: Apr 26, 2012 11:48 PM

    sod61 says:
    Apr 26, 2012 11:41 PM
    bill going for it now. knows brady’s time is getting short. once brady’s gone we will see how much of a genius belicheat is.

    11-5 with Matt Cassell in 2008 is a pretty good indication. Compare that to Colts without P Manning (2-14).

    How did Noll do minus Bradshaw? 49ers after Montana and Young? Cowboys after Aikman?

  27. bluvayner says: Apr 26, 2012 11:51 PM

    Belicheck used his draft choices….and traded up…..because the dynamics of the draft has changed. It is no longer cost prohibitave to sign these guys, because of the new rookie wage scale. Belichick is all about getting value, and first round choices now represent good value for 4 years.

  28. nodindenver says: Apr 27, 2012 12:06 AM

    How could Elway,Fox, or Xanders not know who the Pats were looking for? These guys better have a serious plan for tomorrow!!!!

  29. rebel21das says: Apr 27, 2012 12:12 AM

    So far seems like a strong start for the Patriots in the 2012 NFL draft….. Love it!

  30. sod61 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:19 AM

    jj murphy, did belicheat make the playoffs with cassel? the difference at qb between brady and cassel is annual super bowl winner and annual wild card contender. cassel had a veteran team loaded with pro bowlers that year, indy has nothing. enjoy your time as super bowl contenders, because once brady is gone, you will be in the same boat as about 26 other teams. Oh I almost forgot you have ryan mallet waiting in the wings. lol.

  31. chrisjohnston10 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:21 AM

    winninitall says:
    Apr 26, 2012 11:23 PM
    I honestly say the pats don’t draft well. They just have a lot of draft pics and expect one of those pics to hit the nail. Just look on how many TE they drafted two years ago, also look on how many players they don’t sign or drop after training camp.
    ————————————
    The Pats currently have 9 Pro Bowlers on the roster that they drafted (which is 1st in the league) and have drafted the most Pro Bowlers in the last decade. I would say they draft well.

  32. nodindenver says: Apr 27, 2012 12:22 AM

    McDaniels even saw that Hightower was similar to the last guy, with any significance, that patrolled the middle of the Denver D was Al Wilson!

  33. cooklynn17 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:22 AM

    juststeel says: Apr 26, 2012 10:32 PM

    Pats making a move for another SB
    ________________________________________________
    Better hope they don’t face the Giants.

  34. sod61 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:23 AM

    belicheat is such a genius he passed on tom brady for 5 rounds. of course he and only he knew he would be one of the best qbs ever. all about getting value for your picks, right bill. surprised he did not trade down instead of drafting brady

  35. rexismybff says: Apr 27, 2012 12:27 AM

    “Belichick’s good buddy Nick Saban”

    — I just threw up in my mouth a little bit…

  36. bingobrown12 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:39 AM

    Belicheck he has a degree in economics,I think he
    knows about value.

  37. sod61 says: Apr 27, 2012 12:42 AM

    how did belichek do with testeverde and kosar in cleveland? 37-45 is how. that’s what you are looking at without brady patsy fans.

  38. randomcommenter says: Apr 27, 2012 12:46 AM

    The patriots have a terrible pass defense and they traded up for a run stuffing LB.

    This is the kind of pick that other teams would get bashed for, but the Pats get benefit of the doubt.

    Oh but he went to Bama, that means he’s awesome. DeMeco Ryans was just traded for half a Cheesesteak and Rolando McClain is a disappointment in Oakland.

  39. discosucs2005 says: Apr 27, 2012 1:01 AM

    @jjmurphy1127d

    I get your point, but one 11-5 season in (at the time) an awful division isn’t exactly much evidence to show that the Pats will continue their success when Brady is gone.

  40. wrathofgodzilla says: Apr 27, 2012 1:02 AM

    @nodindenver

    Did you not listen to Elway’s press conference after the first round? The guy they want at the value they have is probably going to be there bright and early tomorrow. Don’t reach for guys that might not cut it. If Del Rio REALLY wanted Hightower, I’m sure he could have talked them into grabbing him. Get your panties out of a bundle and let the big boys do what they get paid for. See you tomorrow for our 2 2nd round picks (maybe 3 if we bundle our 4 4th round picks.) Go Donx!

  41. CKL says: Apr 27, 2012 1:39 AM

    habsman says: Apr 26, 2012 11:48 PM

    Look for D-line or safety focus tomorrow.
    _____________________________
    I’d like a nice C prospect & a S. They HAVE to get some more bodies @ safety.

  42. midwestpulse says: Apr 27, 2012 4:35 AM

    pats won the 1st round by far. jones will be a beast

  43. TheWizard says: Apr 27, 2012 6:46 AM

    …..because the dynamics of the draft has changed. It is no longer cost prohibitave to sign these guys, because of the new rookie wage scale

    Exactly.

    With some good fortune, the Pats have the opportunity to be even better than their status quo going forward.

  44. gisellichek says: Apr 27, 2012 9:49 AM

    I just read the whole thread and I have to admit it is a guilty pleasure being a Pats season ticket holder…

    Honestly this run of the last 12 seasons is payback for the previous 30 years the Pats were the doorstop of the AFL/AFC/NFL… I keep saying this is not going to last forever… but it does… it just gets better and better… I can’t wait for September!!!

    Great Job BB… This D is one or two pieces away from greatness!!!

    (Bragging)

  45. johnstro says: Apr 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    To all the people who talk bad about bb’s drafting, in the last ten years he has drafted more all pros than any other team. Just wait, this defense will be top ten.

  46. backindasaddle says: Apr 28, 2012 1:18 PM

    winninitall says:
    Apr 26, 2012 11:23 PM
    I honestly say the pats don’t draft well. They just have a lot of draft pics and expect one of those pics to hit the nail. Just look on how many TE they drafted two years ago, also look on how many players they don’t sign or drop after training camp.
    ________________________________________________________

    The Pats drafting has been up & down. They have certainly had their success’s and failures. However, I’m afraid you’ve got your head firmly inserted up your ass when you site the TE’s as a drafting failure. The Pats took two TE’s two years ago and both of them have been home runs. Neither was taken in the 1st round. Gronkowski is now the best all around TE in football and broke the record book last year. Hernandez was picked up in the 4th round and plays as if were a 1st rounder. Those 2 TE’s were a monumental drafting success. One other thing I will note about the Patriots drafting and guys sticking. Many times guys didn’t make the Pats roster simply because the roster was already stacked. We are now seeing an infusion of new younger talent and the roster is more open (on defense). Earlier in the past 10 years the roster was so stacked it was extremely difficult for new players to supplant incumbents.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!