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With compensatory picks awarded, Patriots now own the 14th most valuable draft capital in the NFL

Related: Patriots net two compensatory picks ahead of 2021 NFL draft

New York Jets Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The NFL had a busy day on Wednesday. Not only was the salary cap for the 2021 season finally set (teams will have $182.5 million to operate with) and the value of fifth-year contract options for 2018 first-round draft selections announced (a group that includes Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel), the league also awarded its compensatory picks for the draft in late April.

The New England Patriots received two such selections, including the highest one awarded after losing quarterback Tom Brady in free agency. The 96th overall pick in the third round as well as the 139th overall in the fourth have therefore now been added to their portfolio.

In total, the Patriots have nine total selections available in this year’s draft, tied for fifth most in the league:

  • Round 1, No. 15 overall
  • Round 2, No. 46 overall
  • Round 3, No. 96 overall
  • Round 4, No. 120 overall
  • Round 4, No. 139 overall
  • Round 5, No. 158 overall
  • Round 6, No. 194 overall
  • Round 6, No. 196 overall
  • Round 7, No. 241 overall

While having more picks at its disposal increases a team’s ability to maneuver around the board, the real value of draft selections cannot be measured simply based on raw totals. Four picks in the first 100 selections are obviously worth more than four picks in the last 100, for example.

In order to properly analyze what the Patriots’ current capital is worth compared to the rest of the NFL, we therefore need to dig a bit deeper and bring back the draft value chart created by Pats Pulpit’s own Rich Hill back in 2018 — a modification of the chart attributed to former NFL head coach Jimmy Johnson.

If we take the Patriots’ nine selections and assign each one a number of points based on Rich’s chart, we get the following values:

  • 1-15: 315.20 points
  • 2-46: 127.71 points
  • 3-96: 39.38 points
  • 4-120: 23.10 points
  • 4-139: 15.13 points
  • 5-158: 9.91 points
  • 6-194: 4.45 points
  • 6-196: 4.25 points
  • 7-241: 1.56 points

In total we get a value of 549.69 points, which is below the projection from earlier this offseason due to New England getting fewer compensatory selections out of the process. Still, the value is considerably increased compared to last year when the Patriots had just 404.29 value points available ahead of the draft. Back in 2019, meanwhile, they had 527.53 points to work with.

How does this compare to other teams in the NFL? As a look at the league-wide values shows, the Patriots are in the middle of the pack:

2021 NFL draft values

Rank Team Value Rank Team Value
Rank Team Value Rank Team Value
1 Jacksonville Jaguars 1,692.81 17 Las Vegas Raiders 506.19
2 New York Jets 1,311.48 18 Arizona Cardinals 491.75
3 Miami Dolphins 1,167.64 19 Tennessee Titans 485.88
4 Atlanta Falcons 796.41 20 Cleveland Browns 462.10
5 Philadelphia Eagles 762.84 21 Chicago Bears 447.87
6 Cincinnati Bengals 743.93 22 Pittsburgh Steelers 429.26
7 Detroit Lions 681.09 23 Indianapolis Colts 397.56
8 Carolina Panthers 674.45 24 New Orleans Saints 387.56
9 Dallas Cowboys 654.61 25 Green Bay Packers 380.64
10 Denver Broncos 652.11 26 Baltimore Ravens 376.49
11 New York Giants 605.28 27 Kansas City Chiefs 356.74
12 Los Angeles Chargers 598.15 28 Buffalo Bills 343.85
13 San Francisco 49ers 576.13 29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 331.88
14 New England Patriots 549.69 30 Los Angeles Rams 230.74
15 Washington Football Team 540.29 31 Houston Texans 153.09
16 Minnesota Vikings 530.01 32 Seattle Seahawks 128.43

Naturally, the two teams that finished the 2020 season with the worst records in the NFL — the 1-15 Jacksonville Jaguars and 2-14 New York Jets — lead the list given that their first selections alone are worth 1,000 and 717 points, respectively. They are joined by the Miami Dolphins, who obtained the third overall selection this year via trade with the Houston Texans and are therefore among the league leaders despite their 10-6 record last year.

New England is forced to operate in different spheres in terms of value, but is still in a better position than last year: the Patriots are ranked 14th after being 23rd in 2020. Of course, the team will need all the capital it can get to improve a roster that has holes across the board.

New England’s $64.5 million in salary cap space helps as well, but when it comes to obtaining cheap talent there is no better avenue than the draft. Luckily for the Patriots, they are in a solid position.