The New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals both lost in their respective Conference Championship games. The NFL draft order awards the 29th and 30th picks to the losers of these games, while the 31st and 32nd picks will be decided by the outcome of the Super Bowl.
The Patriots finished the season at 12-4, while the Cardinals finished at 13-3, which means the Patriots will have the better draft selection at 29th overall. The Cardinals will be 30th.
The Patriots selected defensive tackle Dominique Easley at 29th overall in the 2014 NFL draft, and traded down from 29th overall with the Minnesota Vikings in the 2013 draft. The Patriots selected linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Logan Ryan, and wide receiver Josh Boyce with the picks received from Minnesota; the team also packaged the 7th round pick to acquire running back LeGarrette Blount.
The draft seeding rules changed after 2009, which means that the team was not awarded the 29th pick after the 2006 season.
Below are the Patriots current draft picks:
2nd round pick, 60th overall
3rd round pick, 92nd overall
4th round pick
6th round pick (possibly the Texans pick)
7th round pick (via Texans)
7th round pick
New England is expected to receive four compensatory picks, including a third round pick due to the departure of cornerback Darrelle Revis.