The NFL finally announced its compensatory draft selections for this year on Tuesday, and the New England Patriots received a league-high four additional picks after losing considerable talent in free agency last offseason. As a result, New England can now add two third-rounders and two sixth-rounders to its draft portfolio — giving the team a combined 12 selections, currently second in the league behind only the Miami Dolphins’ 14 selections.
But how do the Patriots’ picks hold up when it comes to value and not just sheer volume? To find out, let’s take a look at the draft value chart created by colleague Rich Hill back in 2018. And as can be seen, New England currently owns picks worth a combined 404.29 points:
3-98 (compensatory): 37.68
3-100 (compensatory): 36.06
4-122 (via Chicago)*: 22.09
6-195 (via Denver)*: 4.35
6-205 (via Houston)*: 3.48
6-212 (compensatory): 2.98
6-213 (compensatory): 2.91
7-230 (via Atlanta)*: 2.00
7-235 (via Philadelphia)*: 1.79
7-241 (via Seattle)*: 1.56
*final draft order not yet official, projected slot
What stands out right away is that the value of picks is significantly lower than the last two years. In 2018, New England held only eight total selections but had a total value of 705.02 heading into the draft. In 2019, meanwhile, the team owned 12 picks and had 527.53 points to work with. This year, the Patriots have to operate with only 404.29 points — in large parts because of the team trading away its second-round selection last year.
Ahead of the 2019 trade deadline, the Patriots sent that pick to the Atlanta Falcons to acquire Mohamed Sanu in hopes of kickstarting a struggling passing offense. The move did not have the desired effect but it did impact the team’s outlook entering the 2020 draft: the second-round selection sent to Atlanta turned out to be the 55th overall pick, which would have been worth roughly 100.88 points on Rich’s draft value chart.
As a result of this and other trades, and putting the NFL’s recently awarded compensatory picks into account, the Patriots are headed into the new league year with the only the 23rd most valuable draft portfolio in the league:
2020 NFL draft values
Naturally, the teams that finished the 2019 season with some of the worst records in the NFL are higher up on the list of draft value. Accordingly, those that made the playoffs have fewer resources to work with. When looking at the numbers above strictly through the playoff lens, therefore, we can see that the Patriots are middle-of-the-pack in terms of capital: five teams — the Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, and Baltimore Ravens — have more value points than the Patriots’ approximately 404, with six coming after them.
New England therefore finds itself in a solid but not ideal situation heading into draft season. That being said, a lot can and will still change over the next few days and weeks.