Despite some speculation that they might move up the board to position themselves for a quarterback, the New England Patriots did not swing any trades on the first day of the 2021 NFL Draft — all while still ending up with QB Mac Jones as the 15th overall selection. As a result, the Patriots’ draft capital is still intact heading into the second day of the event.
In total, New England now holds nine selections in Rounds 2 through 7. Only the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, who each own ten picks over the remaining two days, have more capital in their hands.
Here are the picks the Patriots currently own, with the first-rounder invested in Mac Jones no longer part of the equation:
Round 2: 2-46
Round 3: 3-96
Round 4: 4-120, 4-122, 4-139
Round 5: 5-177
Round 6: 6-188, 6-197
Round 7: 7-242
Of course, volume and value are not the same when it comes to draft picks. Enter the value chart system which assigns a number to each available draft choice based on its overall worth as an asset. Here at Pats Pulpit, we usually work with the one created by our very own Rich Hill. And when looking at the Patriots’ remaining picks through this value chart, we can see that those nine selections are worth a combined 244.67 points.
When we look at a league-wide comparison compiled by René Bugner we can see that New England’s third-ranked volume does not translate to a third-ranked value — at least on the Rich Hill chart:
Rich’s value chart is not the only one out there used to assess how much capital a team really owns heading into the different draft rounds, however. Other charts such as the one created by Jason Fitzgerald and Brad Spielberger of Over The Cap, for example, paints a more favorable picture from New England’s point of view.
Going with our traditional Rich Hill chart, however, we can see that New England and its 16th ranked capital is situated right in the middle of the pack. While that is in itself not ideal, two factors have to be considered: the Patriots are still relatively flexible because they own so many different selections across all six remaining rounds, and they also already addressed the biggest need on their roster by drafting Mac Jones on Thursday.
As a result, you should not be surprised to see Trader Bill Belichick emerge again in order to maximize the picks that he has. The goal, after all, will remain to add talent to a roster that is already rather deep at some positions following New England’s free agency spending spree, but might benefit from young talent at other spots such as linebacker, cornerback and offensive tackle.