Patriots trade up again, land Dont’a Hightower

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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.

46 responses to “Patriots trade up again, land Dont’a Hightower

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

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

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.)

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. @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.

  21. @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!

  22. 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.

  23. …..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.

  24. 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)

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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