The New England Patriots have earned a reputation for trading down in the NFL draft. They’ve proven just as likely to trade up, however.
The Patriots have traded up and down in the draft 17 times apiece since Bill Belichick took over as head coach in 2000. They have traded up in the first round four times and out of the first round just twice. Since the Patriots hold the No. 32 pick in the 2015 NFL draft, they can’t trade down in the first round, only out.
The value in trading out of the first round is to acquire more picks, both in that year’s draft and in the next. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio hinted that a trade up might be more possible because of how many players the team currently has on its roster.
I think we all are under the assumption that the New England Patriots trade out of the first round each year. I know I am. The second rounder costs less, and expectations are also lower so there is no need to rush the player.
In a segment on ESPN this morning, NFL draft guru Todd McShay broke down the first round choices for the entire first round. When he got to the sixth pick in the first round, he hesitated before putting the name of Todd Gurley in the slot for the New York Jets. There has been no mention of the Jets taking a chance on an injured running back. This is not normal procedure for a 4-12 football team.
While some pundits have questioned the sanity of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, there is a bond between Kelly and Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick. With the New England roster clogged at present, multiple picks could be headed to Philadelphia as part of a three team trade. There is a method to the madness surrounding the draft. The Herschel Walker trade on October 12, 1989 between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota affected three drafts, with 18 players being jettisoned.
The New England Patriots love "the action."
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire. .
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