The 2018 draft featured a flurry of trades, but we won’t have any idea who got the better end of those deals for at least another year, when the 2019 draft picks that were traded over the weekend are used.
Two teams are in particularly good shape for next year’s draft: The Packers, who got the Saints’ 2019 first-round pick, and the Patriots, who got the Bears’ 2019 second-round pick and the Lions’ 2019 third-round pick.
The Packers are the only team in the NFL with two first-round picks in 2019, and that’s a great place to be in. Although the Saints are favored to be a playoff team, any time you can get an extra first-round pick, even a late first-round pick, it’s a big deal. And Packers fans can root for the Saints to fall short of expectations, and send a high first-round pick to Green Bay.
The Patriots are the only team with two extra picks in the first two days of the 2019 draft, and both of their extra picks come from teams likely to miss the playoffs. Both the Bears and the Lions are expected to finish with losing records, based on the Las Vegas win total over-unders, which means the Patriots may have a high second-round pick and a high third-round pick thanks to this weekend’s trades.
Any evaluation of the 2018 draft isn’t complete without considering how it positions those teams beyond 2018. And no teams did more to build up their future draft capital than the Packers and Patriots.