The New England Patriots have a whole bunch of draft picks, but that doesn’t mean Bill Belichick will push all of his chips into the middle of the table.
A reader asked The Athletic’s Jay Glazer in his mailbag published Friday whether the Patriots — armed with 12 picks, including six in the first three rounds — could use their abundance of assets to trade up and make a huge splash next week in the 2019 NFL Draft. Glazer explained he doesn’t expect New England to take that approach, as it would fly in the face of how the Patriots typically operate.
Here’s what Glazer wrote:
That’s just not the Patriots’ style. The Patriots usually let treasure drop to them because they’re always looking for a different kind of player. That’s why a lot of times they will trade down for more picks. The Patriots have a different style where they have certain players that will fit their system in the Patriot Way better than they will fit other teams. That’s why they’re able to sit there and collect these rewards. The crazy thing is, every time they pick a player who drops to them, teams go, “Ah, man. What a great pickup that is for the Patriots.” When in reality, those players have been available for the teams that picked before them.
In other words, the Patriots didn’t just win another Super Bowl — their sixth since the 2001 season. They’re also positioned for continued success with Tom Brady under center and have enviable flexibility thanks to their draft capital.
Belichick is known more for trading down than for trading up, though, suggesting it’s probably foolish to expect fireworks in New England when the 2019 NFL Draft kicks off next Thursday. This might drive some Patriots fans crazy, but the team’s track record of success speaks for itself.
The Patriots’ first pick in the draft comes at No. 32 overall by virtue of their Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams. They also own two picks in the second round and three picks in the third round.
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