Analyzing potential Patriots trades in first round of NFL Draft

Ryan Hannable
April 09, 2020 - 7:53 am
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Everyone knows Bill Belichick loves to trade during the NFL Draft.

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In fact, he’s made at least one trade in every draft since 2001, and it’s pretty much a 50/50 split between trading up and trading down. It’s all about how he sees the value.

Belichick traded up in Round 1 to grab Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones, but then there have been instances where he’s traded out of the first round all together to pick up more picks in the later rounds.

Selecting at No. 23 overall this year, the Patriots can realistically do whatever they want. They can trade up, even into the mid-to-low teens if they wanted, or back out of the first round all together.

When making trades, teams often use Jimmy Johnson’s draft pick trade value chart, which gives each pick a number value. For instance, the Patriots’ No. 23 pick has a value of 760 points. 

The Patriots do not have a second-round pick, but do have three third-rounders — No. 87 overall (155 points), No. 98 overall (108 points) and No. 100 overall (100 points). New England has eight more selections, but really only one more with decent value, No. 125 overall (47 points).
 
With that in mind, here are some potential scenarios for them to move up, and back, in the draft using the chart.

MOVE UP — TRADE 1

Patriots acquire pick No. 12 overall (1,200 points) from Raiders for No. 23 overall (760 points), No. 87 (155 points), No. 98 (108 points), No. 100 (100 points), No. 125 (47 points) and No. 172 (21.4 points). 

MOVE UP - TRADE 2

Patriots acquire pick No. 13 overall (1,150 points) from 49ers for No. 23 overall (760 points), No. 87 (155 points), No. 98 (108 points) and No. 100 (100 points).

MOVE UP - TRADE 3

Patriots acquire pick No. 18 overall (900 points) from Dolphins for No. 23 overall (760 points), No. 98 (108 points) and No. 172 (21.4 points).

Based off the chart, the Patriots really cannot get into the top 10 even if they traded all their selections this year. The only way would be to trade future picks, which doesn’t seem something the Patriots would want to do this year given the fact the potential is there to have a below average year potentially not even making the playoffs, which would result in an even higher selection in 2021.

MOVE BACK — TRADE 1

Patriots acquire pick No. 38 overall (520 points) and No. 69 (245 points) from Carolina for No. 23 overall (760 points).

MOVE BACK - TRADE 2

Patriots acquire pick No. 46 overall (440 points), No. 83 (175 points), No. 95 (120 points) and No. 118 (58 points) from Broncos for No. 23 overall (760 points).

MOVE BACK — TRADE 3

Patriots acquire pick No. 59 overall (310 points), No. 64 overall (270 points), No. 101 (96 points), No. 133 (39 points) and No. 144 (34 points) from Seahawks for No. 23 overall (760 points).

Clearly, the Patriots can get some great value by moving out of the first round, including picking up some extra second and third-round picks. As of now, the Patriots do not have a selection from No. 23 to No. 87 and we expect Belichick to change that. One easy way to do that is to trade back at No. 23 and pick up some extra picks, including some in Round 2. Given the number of needs the Patriots have, as well as a commitment to getting younger, moving back in this draft seems to make a ton of sense.

But as always, it is impossible to know what Belichick is actually thinking.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 23-25.

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