Super Bowl teams rarely have the draft capital necessary to see a big influx of young talent the next season. But this year’s Patriots will be an exception.
New England has acquired an extra first-round pick and an extra second-round pick this year by trading Brandin Cooks and Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Patriots have all their own picks in the first three rounds of the draft as well. But the influx of young talent goes beyond just that.
Last year the Patriots traded away their first- and second-round picks, but they had two third-round picks. The two players they selected, defensive end Derek Rivers and offensive tackle Antonio Garcia, both missed the entire 2017 season, Rivers with a torn ACL and Garcia with blood clots. Both players are expected to be healthy and ready to go in 2018.
That means the Patriots essentially are adding two first-round picks, two second-round picks and three third-round picks to a team that was already good enough to go to the Super Bowl. With seven talented first-year players, there’s every reason to think the Patriots can be a more talented team this year.