Trades make this year’s draft look very different in New England

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In the last couple of years, the Patriots have not had high draft picks. This year will be much different.

In 2016, New England forfeited its first-round pick because of Deflategate and moved down from the second-round pick it received in the Chandler Jones trade to acquire more picks in the later rounds. New England’s first pick that year was No. 60 overall.

In 2017, New England sent its first-round pick to New Orleans for Brandin Cooks and sent its second-round pick to Carolina for Kony Ealy. New England’s first pick that year was No. 83 overall.

This chart shows just how strikingly different the Patriots’ draft capital in recent years has been from other teams. In the last three drafts, the Patriots have had exactly one pick in the Top 59. Every other team in the NFL has had at least four, while most teams have had six or more.

This year, the Patriots have changed their approach. New England just acquired the 23rd overall pick by trading Cooks to the Rams, and New England still has its own first-round pick, No. 31 overall. The Patriots also have the 43rd overall pick from the 49ers, acquired in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade, and the Patriots still have their own second-round pick, No. 63 overall.

That means the Patriots can stockpile their roster with young, cheap talent after getting older and more expensive in recent years. There’s been some talk that the Patriots might make a move to draft Tom Brady‘s successor, but Brady is surely hoping they’ll instead use those picks to replace departures like Cooks, wide receiver Danny Amendola and left tackle Nate Solder. With those picks, the Patriots can try to put their roster over the top to win Super Bowl No. 6 with Brady.

86 responses to “Trades make this year’s draft look very different in New England

  1. Smells like 2012 when Hoddie took Jones and Hightower at 21 and 25. He will take LB and edge rusher this year… Carter(GA) and Hubbard (OSU)…QB qill come at pick 63

  2. Uuuhh… the math doesn’t work here. With 32 teams in the league it’s not possible for “most teams had six or more” picks in the first 59 over 3 seasons.

  3. This is the first exciting Pats draft in recent memory. I’m so used to having the 28th-32nd pick and trading out of the round altogether. Watch Bill still trade down into like the 3rd round though, would anyone really put it past him? Diabolical, lmao.

  4. I cannot imagine he uses those picks to move up for a QB. He is going to load up the defense which is the weakness right now. Maybe a stud RB if one drops.

  5. Logic says they have to go defense, right? They did give up over 40 points in the Super Bowl and their front 7 to me, outside of a healthy Hightower (and maybe Wise), are butt cheeks talent wise. If they had a decent pass rush in that game I think the argument could be made that they would’ve won that game, and if not defense then you definitely have to add O-line as they did just lose both starting tackles in free agency.

  6. You are basically in “win now” mode by default when you have an aging Hall of Fame QB and your most unstoppable receiving threat is openly talking about retirement. It makes much more sense for them to draft guys who can help them immediately, like on the O-line or defense, than to hunt for a needle in a haystack future QB who won’t help them at all in the short term. Maybe if they like somebody who is still around in the later rounds they take a QB but I’d be stunned if they used any of their early picks on one.

  7. I’m not a Patriot hater, with that being said their Super Bowl days are over for the foreseeable future…

  8. The Rams built a super team based on rookie contracts leaving them room to add a few vets. When those contracts are up they’ll be able to trade certain guys away and stock up again. It seems like the Pats are trying to do something similar with their trades they’ve made this off-season and stock pile of early draft picks. Could be wrong, but history has shown that when you pay superstars you tend to fall off. Belichick has always liked to keep it cheap and trade away when rookie contracts are up and larger deals are being discussed.

  9. I’m no fancy foosball expert, but these do not seem like the actions of a desperate win-now coach on the verge of retirement due to violent conflicts with his owner and QB. It’s almost like ESPN was wrong about something.

  10. BB set to own the draft and send Goodell into another tizzy with the cheating owners.

    lol

    If BB trades into a draft, he likes the draft. Expect an A grade here with some nice youth infusion.

  11. 1nationraidernation says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:11 am
    it dont matter, once brady retires its all over

    ———————

    Nope.

    They’ll go from 12-4+ every year to 10-6+ every year. Enjoy the view!

  12. Brady isn’t selfish. He objected to the Garoppolo pick because it presumed he would retire at 41 and not win an MVP. At 41 years old, Brady fully understands that now is the time for the team to draft his replacement.

  13. They will keep the picks. They need defense, preferably a pass rusher in some form, and offensive line help.

    It would be way to expensive to try to move up and get a qb

  14. .
    With two firsts and two seconds the Patriots have the ability to move either up or down. With the expected chaos at the top of the draft there may be some quality players who drop into the 20’s. If they choose to trade up, #23 and #31 would get them up to #9.
    .

  15. Kraft does realize that he killed the Patriots next decade by literally, LITERALLY giving away Jimmy G, right?
    Now, they will spend draft after draft chasing that QB debacle, when they could have spent their draft money building team strength.
    Welcome to the cellar of the AFC Boys….

  16. thegreatgabbert says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:12 am
    Uuuhh… the math doesn’t work here. With 32 teams in the league it’s not possible for “most teams had six or more” picks in the first 59 over 3 seasons.
    _________________

    59 x 3 = 177

    1 team with 1 pick = 1
    4 teams with 4 picks = 16
    10 teams with 5 picks = 50
    subtotal: 15 teams with 5 picks or less (67 picks total)
    ———–
    13 teams with 6 picks = 78
    1 team with 7 picks = 7
    2 teams with 8 picks = 16
    1 team with 9 picks = 9
    subtotal: 17 teams with 6 picks or more (110 picks total)

    67 + 110 = 177

    Also, 17 > 15

  17. jjfootball says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:22 am
    Nobody cares about New England, but New England!

    ——————-

    Well, we’d prefer it that way, but what you just said really isn’t true. 99% of all other fanbases spend a lot of time commenting on the Pats, in their deluded little worlds.

  18. Although the Patriots seem to defy the conventional laws of football success, it seems impossible to keep winning with a quarterback who is over 40 and without having any high draft picks over an extended period.

  19. mogogo1 says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:15 am
    You are basically in “win now” mode by default when you have an aging Hall of Fame QB and your most unstoppable receiving threat is openly talking about retirement. It makes much more sense for them to draft guys who can help them immediately, like on the O-line or defense, than to hunt for a needle in a haystack future QB who won’t help them at all in the short term. Maybe if they like somebody who is still around in the later rounds they take a QB but I’d be stunned if they used any of their early picks on one.
    __________________________

    I dislike the Pats as much as anyone, but let’s face it: they are always in “win-now” mode.

  20. Pats were forced to make a desperation move trading away talent for an extra first rounder and it’s because the Pats botched the Garoppola situation. Brady is turning 41 so they’ll likely grab Rudolph at 23 and groom him for a season.

  21. 1nationraidernation says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:11 am
    it dont matter, once brady retires its all over

    ————-

    You can only use hindsight to determine when it is over. When the Patriots lost the AFC Championship game in 2012 and 2013 most people thought it was over then. 4 AFC championship appearances, 3 Super Bowl appearances and 2 Super Bowl wins later, here we are.

    Brady is still playing. There’s no guarantee the Patriots won’t end up with a great QB afterward given the draft capital they now hold. It’s not over until it’s over.

  22. thegreatgabbert says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:12 am
    Uuuhh… the math doesn’t work here. With 32 teams in the league it’s not possible for “most teams had six or more” picks in the first 59 over 3 seasons

    ————
    Sure it does, as pick 59 is the 27th pick in the second round. Which means 27 teams have 2 picks in the first 59 over 3 years. 27 out of 32 qualifies as most.

  23. Whatever Bill does there will be plenty of additional surprises IMO.

    He is not done wheeling and dealing yet.

    He is totally unpredictable.

  24. doubleogator says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:18 am
    I’m not a Patriot hater, with that being said their Super Bowl days are over for the foreseeable future…

    ——————–

    Not sure what you are basing that on. They still have one of the top 4 rosters in the AFC and the best QB. They have great draft capital too.

    So on paper you are wrong.

    As for what actually will happen, we will all have to watch and see.

  25. weepingjebus says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:20 am
    I’m no fancy foosball expert, but these do not seem like the actions of a desperate win-now coach on the verge of retirement due to violent conflicts with his owner and QB. It’s almost like ESPN was wrong about something.

    —————————-

    lol

    You were also wrong about your analysis with the Pats health this past year and how it had an obvious and clear effect on their ability to win the SB.

    But, touche. ESPN is never right and Tom Curran has now become an official troll likely losing any supposed “insider” access he thought he had.

  26. doylemcmuffin says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:27 am
    Trade it all to Denver for #5.

    0 0 Rate This
    ———————–

    BB isn’t Elway and dumb. In deep drafts, you don’t trade up unless a couple of spots with limited loss.

  27. george1859 says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:30 am
    Kraft does realize that he killed the Patriots next decade by literally, LITERALLY giving away Jimmy G, right?
    Now, they will spend draft after draft chasing that QB debacle, when they could have spent their draft money building team strength.
    Welcome to the cellar of the AFC Boys….

    ——————–

    Well they “literally” traded him for a 2nd round pick when all he had to do was serve out the rest of the season and he would have been a free agent. They “literally” had the best QB in the league on their roster. They also “literally” could not afford to pay franchise Jimmy and keep Brady. Therefore, they “literally” had a choice of whether to keep Brady or Jimmy and they decided they had to keep Brady.

    The alternate approach “literally” got SF 1 Super Bowl and the Colts 0 Super Bowls and alienated the most important players in their franchises history in the process. Kraft “literally” doesn’t want that.

    So time will tell if it was a bad decision or not. We’ll see.

  28. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:31 am

    Although the Patriots seem to defy the conventional laws of football success, it seems impossible to keep winning with a quarterback who is over 40 and without having any high draft picks over an extended period.
    ———————-

    The Patriots do get high draft picks all of the time. They just pick them up from lesser teams for pennies on the dollar.

  29. With no picks in the 4th and 5th, it’s a 99% certainty that one of those firsts will be dealt for later picks; something Belichick tends to do even when he has all his draft picks.

  30. Belicheat thinks he’s smart but there won’t be any stars left at No. 23. Anything NE really wants will be gone by then.

  31. jjfootball says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:22 am
    Nobody cares about New England, but New England!

    But yet YOU took the time to comment

    #Jealousy

  32. pastabelly says:

    At 41 years old, Brady fully understands that now is the time for the team to draft his replacement.
    =============================================

    How do you know? Did you talk to him about it?

  33. Belicheat thinks he’s smart but there won’t be any stars left at No. 23. Anything NE really wants will be gone by then.
    ——————————————————-
    Wow, astute observation. Trying to recall if there has ever been a quality player selected after the 23rd pick?
    Nope. I guess you’re right.
    Is that you, Mel?

  34. doubleogator says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:18 am
    I’m not a Patriot hater, with that being said their Super Bowl days are over for the foreseeable future…

    ————-

    Seems like we have been hearing this for over a decade now. Some day you might actually be correct.

  35. jjfootball says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:22 am
    Nobody cares about New England, but New England!

    ——

    except for all the non-Pats fans that comment on Pats articles. I think they do care….otherwise they’d have a lot of time on their hands.

  36. I know left tackle and qb are the most pressing. But we also lost our starting running back and Saquon Barkley would be a hell of an upgrade from Dion Lewis! Just a thought.

  37. I’m not a mathematician by any means but that math of 32 teams even having 4 picks , before the 59th pick, in three years is an impossibility. I could almost buy into those figures over the entire history of the draft. As written it’s simoly impossible

  38. Stating the Patriots traded their 2017 2nd round pick for Ealy without noting they also received the Panthers 3rd round pick (after a sub par season) is disingenuous.

  39. First off the PATS will not be drafting a QB from this class.

    Secondly, history dictates that the PATS like to use draft picks as bargaining chips to get more picks. I suspect that the #23 pick will be farmed out so that it may generate several picks in the end.

  40. Well they “literally” traded him for a 2nd round pick when all he had to do was serve out the rest of the season and he would have been a free agent. They “literally” had the best QB in the league on their roster. They also “literally” could not afford to pay franchise Jimmy and keep Brady. Therefore, they “literally” had a choice of whether to keep Brady or Jimmy and they decided they had to keep Brady.

    The alternate approach “literally” got SF 1 Super Bowl and the Colts 0 Super Bowls and alienated the most important players in their franchises history in the process. Kraft “literally” doesn’t want that.

    So time will tell if it was a bad decision or not. We’ll see.
    —————————————————-

    LITERALLY no hope…

  41. mongo3401 says:
    April 4, 2018 at 12:25 pm
    I’m not a mathematician by any means but that math of 32 teams even having 4 picks , before the 59th pick, in three years is an impossibility.

    _________

    Please allow me to help you out here. 58 picks x 3 years = 174 picks total. 174 picks divided by 32 teams = 5.43 picks per team.

  42. Football…..where draft picks are the winners of the off season. Having to step off the throne isn’t easy. lord knows having the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins as division mates makes it almost limpossible to think the time is coming. Honestly, I don’t know when that day will come, because the Patriots could have Brock Osweiler at QB and I’d still put them as favorites in the AFC East.

  43. It’s amazing what they’ve done the last few years without having a pick higher than 60 – just think about that. They haven’t had a draft pick higher than 60 in the last 3 years and have gone to 2 SB and won one in that time.

    Also, they have 4 of the top 63 picks this year, so either BB is loving this draft or will spin at least 2 of those picks into multiple picks in future drafts.

  44. Patriots the best run team in football. I doubt they make a move for a QB when they scout better than anyone and can find a second tier QB that fits their system.

  45. Did anyone let the league office know how many picks they have? (clearly not)
    Once the league investigates alleged salary cap violations for allowing TB-12 employee Alex Guerrero to operate inside Gillette stadium those first four picks will be toast.

  46. It will be interesting to see if the Patriots can keep this going once Brady goes. And it would have been interesting to see if Brady could have done well, away from BB. I don’t think we will see this kind of domination ever again once BB hangs his headphones up. It’s really quite remarkable what he is doing in the extreme compitive world of the NFL.

  47. bullcharger says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:43 am

    Not sure what you are basing that on. They still have one of the top 4 rosters in the AFC and the best QB. They have great draft capital too.

    So on paper you are wrong.

    As for what actually will happen, we will all have to watch and see.
    ————————————–

    I’m really curious where you think this top 4 talent is? I spit out my drink literally when I read that. The Defense is garbage, lost their best RB, LT & now WR. The Pats roster wise is closer to a bottom 4 roster then top. That said it doesn’t mean they will be bad as they are the best coached and still have the games best QB as much as we all hate him.

  48. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    Although the Patriots seem to defy the conventional laws of football success, it seems impossible to keep winning with a quarterback who is over 40 and without having any high draft picks over an extended period.
    ===========

    so, you are saying that that the Pats will finish this season 8-8 or worse? Is that your prediction? Because it hasn’t happened in the Tom Brady era, even when he was injured.

    As far as the mathematics and how can teams have more than 4 picks, it’s because existing players under contract can be traded for draft picks (e.g.: Cooks, Collins, etc). It’s not a zero sum game.

  49. That Cooks trade for the 23rd pick was tremendous. He was overrated and invisible on 3rd down and has a year left on his deal. The Rams will be forking over 17 million or so per year for this guy when deal is up. He’s not worth anything near that.

  50. dieselguy19 says:

    April 4, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    I’m really curious where you think this top 4 talent is? I spit out my drink literally when I read that. The Defense is garbage, lost their best RB, LT & now WR. The Pats roster wise is closer to a bottom 4 roster then top. That said it doesn’t mean they will be bad as they are the best coached and still have the games best QB as much as we all hate him.

    ==========================================

    Uh, Pats still have their best wide receiver obviously and have the NFL MVP on their team. And they have tons of picks and the best GM in the NFL who is far from done.

  51. The math majors in this thread should get together and build a rocket. Call it “DYNASTY”.

    Anyway, BB is going to stock the team with 4 solid picks unless he trades down (which he will). When the guy he wants is still there at 23, he’ll drop 4-5 spots, still get him and add another 2nd rounder. He’ll do it again with 31.

    When the smoke clears. voila, time to launch the rocket.

  52. Forfeit is not the right terminology to use for Deflategate, they were cheated out of a 1st, forfeit implies they willingly gave up the pick which is simply untrue

  53. I bet they trade with a mid round team like Seattle to grab a player dropping, who they greatly want or feel they need. Their 31st, one second & 3rd for instance. If players don’t drop, they trade back for volume.

  54. None of these QB’s are worth a trade up that would cost two #1’s & the Pats have to know that. I seriously think that if they have intentions to milk the Brady-Train, then they need to go the late Elway route when he nabbed two in a row. That means go with the run game & get that stud RB. BARKLEY is worth two #1’s & he would definitely extend Brady’s shelf life.

  55. Jimmy G has played 7 games?! Yes he looks good but damn people put your phones down for a minute and let him play a full season with the pressure and let’s see how truly GOAT he is..I’ll take Brady everyday and twice on Sunday!

  56. “Once the league investigates alleged salary cap violations for allowing TB-12 employee Alex Guerrero to operate inside Gillette stadium those first four picks will be toast.”

    That’s freaking hilarious. Can’t wait for you to tell us how letting a trainer, who is not a player and has no effect on the cap is a “salary cap violation”.

    Guess what, its not. Players are the only personnel that count against the cap. Front office staff, coaches and everyone else not a player do not effect the cap in any way. You need to come back to the realm of reality.

  57. steelercrazy says:
    April 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Pats were forced to make a desperation move trading away talent for an extra first rounder and it’s because the Pats botched the Garoppola situation. Brady is turning 41 so they’ll likely grab Rudolph at 23 and groom him for a season.

    NE couldn’t keep Jimmy G after they extended Brady Feb 2016. Why a team would get rid of a MVP and keep a player who did very little is beyond ridiculous. BB knew what the situation was. If BB was so hot for Jimmy G he should have started him before they extended Brady in 2015. There isn’t a story in 2017. After Brady’s extension in 2016, it would have cost 41 million in dead cap for 2016, 28 million in dead cap in 2017, 14 million in dead cap in 2018 to get rid of Brady. People really should look at spotrac. It’s the foundation of every team, the ccounting.

  58. BB always moves product a year early, never a year too late He wanted to move Brady and go with Jimmy G. Kraft said no and they couldn’t afford both but really got screwed in the trade with SF for only a second. Tommy also felt threatened by Brisset and demanded he go. He’s gone. There is much turmoil in NE these days. The stories are not fiction. Camelot is burning.

  59. wib22 says:
    April 4, 2018 at 1:48 pm
    The ship is going down. Wonder how many bandwagoners leave?

    Pats have sold out every game since 1994. Why do these dopes think Pats fans are on a bandwagon? Educate yourself

  60. The approach never changes – get better anyway you can, draft, free agents, trades. No one has ever done it as well as bill.

  61. Uuuhh… the math doesn’t work here. With 32 teams in the league it’s not possible for “most teams had six or more” picks in the first 59 over 3 seasons.
    —————
    Sure it does. That would be average 2 picks or more in the first two rounds. (Except for the teams picking in the 2nd round between 60-64). 6 picks is precisely what you would expect over 3 years.

  62. ’m not a mathematician by any means but that math of 32 teams even having 4 picks , before the 59th pick, in three years is an impossibility. I could almost buy into those figures over the entire history of the draft. As written it’s simply impossible
    ———-
    It is the exact opposite. 4 picks over three years would be 1 1/3 picks over the first 2 rounds each year. It is almost impossible to NOT be true. I suspect you are thinking of having those 4 picks (or 6 in the original post) EACH year. That would not seem to be the intended meeting.

  63. Sure looks like the pats are really focused on doing everything they can to compete with the eagles.

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