Patriots Secure 33rd Pick, Have Three of First 33 Picks in 2011 Draft

Call it the rich getting richer.

The Patriots, fresh off a division title and their 13th win of the season, got some more good news on Sunday, as the Panthers secured the worst record in the NFL. That affects the Patriots, of course, who own the Panthers’ second-round pick next spring.

That gives the Pats the 33rd pick next year. With their own pick (which could potentially be 32nd) and the Raiders’ first-rounder (currently in the 15-17 range), the Patriots are in position to make major additions come April.

Still, it’s unlikely that they’ll make selections with all three picks, but Bill Belichick has proven to be skillful in turning one pick into several picks in future years. The Carolina pick is a fine example, as the Pats traded a 2010 third-rounder for the 2011 second-rounder. The Panthers used the pick to draft Armanti Edwards, who’s played in just one game this year.

The Raiders’ pick was acquired in the Richard Seymour trade. Even though that pick had the potential of being a top-10 or even top-five selection, the Patriots won’t be disappointed, as they will be in a position of power with three of the first 33 picks. That fact is furthered by the new setup of the draft, which now includes an evening-long break between the first and second rounds. Given how well Belichick handles draft-day trades when he has just minutes to get them done, the prospect of him having 12 hours to wheel and deal bodes well for the Patriots.

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