The New England Patriots shockingly traded with the New York Jets to select TE Dalton Keene at the end of the third round with the 101st overall pick.
It doesn’t happen often, so it’s certainly worth taking note of when it does: the New England Patriots and the New York Jets worked together to achieve a common goal.
The Patriots traded with the Jets late Friday night at the end of the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. New England took New York’s No. 101 overall pick in exchange for the 125th and 129th picks of this draft, plus a 2021 sixth-round pick.
All of that amounted to the Patriots taking their second tight end in the third round.
New England had just traded with the Raiders to take UCLA tight end Devin Asiasi at No. 91. Exactly 10 picks later, Bill Belichick selected another tight end, this one out of Virginia Tech: Dalton Keene.
While Asiasi was a highly-touted TE prospect (No. 3 in ESPN’s rankings of the draft prospects at that position), Keene was a distant 13th (No. 197 prospect overall).
However, as the draft analysts on ESPN noted during their live broadcast coverage of the draft, Keene is well-known for his versatility on offense — he even lined up at running back on occasion during this past season with the Hokies.
From St. Louis, Missouri, Keene stands 6’4 and weighs 251 lbs. He was selected four picks prior to Adam Trautman getting selected by the New Orleans Saints — a bit of a surprise considering Trautman was the No. 2 prospect on many big boards of tight ends entering the 2020 NFL Draft.
The hope around Foxborough now is that some combination of Asiasi and Keene will be able to jumpstart a lackluster New England tight end position group from last season. The trio of Ben Watson, Ryan Izzo, and Matt LaCosse quite simply didn’t cut it in 2019 for the Patriots offense.