The New England Patriots opened the week of the NFL Draft by making their fourth trade of the offseason. While the previous ones all involved players — linebacker Mack Wilson and wide receiver DeVante Parker were acquired, linebacker Chase Winovich and guard Shaq Mason given up — this one saw the team exchange draft selections.
The Patriots sent the 170th overall selection to the Houston Texans in exchange for two other late-round choices. New England received No. 183 in Round 6 as well as No. 245 in Round 7 to bring its total draft capital to nine selections.
“That was a blockbuster,” head coach/general manager Bill Belichick joked when talking to Patriots.com’s Scott Zolak about the trade.
While the move itself will likely go down as a footnote in what has been a wild offseason across the league, the Patriots felt good about making it. The key for the team, according to Belichick, was improving the overall positioning on the draft board.
“It gives us kind of a two-for-one situation there,” he said. “We felt like it was really about positioning. The trade was numerically equal.”
According to Rich Hill’s updated draft value chart, the Patriots gave up 6.3 value points in exchange for 5.9. The difference of 0.4 points in Houston’s favor is negligible, but the Patriots did gain more flexibility to pick up players regarded as priority free agents late in the draft.
At that point in time, New England’s draft board will look a lot different than it has at the start of the draft two days prior.
“It keeps changing,” Belichick said about the preparation process. “As players get picked in the first round and things unfold at the end of Day 1, then you reset the board for Day 2, which is Rounds 2 and 3. And then at the end of Friday night you reset the board. It’s really three separate drafts.
“Certainly you know a lot more on Day 2 than you did on Day 1, and Day 3 on Day 2 — players get picked, players come off the board. You’re not working with as many names, but the process is kind of the same. You just reset the board.”
The first round of the 2022 NFL Draft is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 28. The Patriots are slated to pick 21st overall, unless the team is swinging another trade.