Although the New England Patriots didn’t select anyone in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, it doesn’t mean we can’t still break down the trade they made to secure four draft picks from the Minnesota Vikings. But because the Patriots didn’t make any picks, today’s day-after grading of the Pats draft is going to be a brief piece. Tomorrow, I’ll go much more in-depth with my grades since the Patriots will have taken two guys in the second round. Remember when we were all complaining that the Patriots didn’t have enough draft picks heading into yesterday?
The Patriots made a very wise move to trade down, because they just secured themselves another pick in the second, another pick in the third, and a pick in the fourth round. The 2013 NFL Draft has more depth than top-end talent, and scouts and executives alike have remarked that this draft is four rounds deep. The Patriots needed some more depth to help build talent on the team, and they are in a position to go “best player available”.
Teams ideally would like to be able to select the best guy available, because it allows you to better build talent. Of course, the Patriots are going to prioritize WR, CB, and other positions they deem has “positions of need”, but the Patriots have more room to take guys they really like in the second and third rounds. The Patriots almost never draft running backs, but they have shown plenty of interest in South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore. If they have a chance at nabbing him or cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, then now I could see them taking those guys. Before, I would have thought it would have been imprudent for them to take either player, since the Pats only had five picks to work with.
Flexibility is the name of the game, and building depth and overall talent are also goals that most front offices place paramount weight to. The New England Patriots are in a better position to fill out their roster by adding four picks, and the value charts on sites like Ourlads.com state that the Patriots received the better “value” out of the deal in terms of weighting draft picks. In my opinion, this charts are slanted towards the team that is trading up, so that makes me like this deal even more from the Patriots perspective.
To me and plenty of others, trading down always seemed like the best bet for the Patriots. They were predicted to trade down in several mock drafts, and they were able to take advantage of an aggressive Vikings draft strategy (boy did Rick Spielman pull together an excellent draft with three top prospects) in order to get a deal done.
It’s extremely difficult to grade a team when they make no picks, because we have to see what they do with those picks. But that stuff is for our draft recap and grading tomorrow. Today, let us commend the Patriots on a job well done, and I am going to give the Patriots a solid “A” for their work in the first round. This basically means that I am giving the Patriots an “A” for the trade with the Vikings.
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