In the 2009 NFL draft, the Jets traded up, and the Patriots traded down.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why New York is still playing this January and New England will be watching the rest of the postseason on TV.
Last April, the Jets dealt their first-round pick (17th overall), a second-round pick, and three players to acquire the No. 5 overall pick from the Cleveland Browns. New York used the pick to draft USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Later in the draft, the Jets moved up to draft running back Shonn Greene in the third round.
"The last thing we wanted to do in the same draft was trade up, but the sentiment in the room was unanimous," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum told the New York Daily News. "It was a no-brainer. The value to us was compelling."
In the same draft, the New England Patriots traded their first-round pick (23rd overall) to the Baltimore Ravens for the 26th overall selection and a fifth-round draft pick. Baltimore drafted offensive tackle Michael Oher with New England?s original pick.
The Patriots then traded the 26th pick in the draft and a fifth-round selection to the Green Bay Packers for two second-round picks and a third-rounder. The Packers? first-round pick turned into Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews.
But despite the immediate success of their 2009 draft picks, Jets officials understand the value of draft picks and building depth.
"We're not going to be reckless, and we're not going to mortgage our future," Tannenbaum said in the Daily News.
No draft strategy is perfect. However, 2009 draft picks Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and the rest of the Jets will face the San Diego Chargers next weekend. The Patriots, on the other hand, will not.