He had been holding onto his chips for years, moving them into the next year or more picks in the same draft. However, Bill Belichick caught the trade fever in reverse this year.
For most of the night, Patriots fans waited for Bill Belichick to wait, and then trade back. However, a new CBA had teams trade happy in the first round and Belichick caught the fever as well. As in every draft, one or two unexpected moves changes the landscape and opens up new options.
In Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower, Belichick just might have hit the motherload.
The New England Patriots traded their 27th overall pick with the Cincinnati Bengals, moving up 6 spots while giving the Bengals their 3rd rounder (93rd overall). With the 21st pick, the Patriots selected DE Chandler Jones from Syracuse.
Belichick then saw prized ILB Dont’a Hightower from Alabama dangling out there and moved from the 31st slot to the 25th to snag the explosive linebacker. Trading for Denver’s 25th pick, giving up the 31st and 126th picks in exchange.
Belichick has drafted the two missing elements for his great defenses of the past. Jones fits the role of Willie McGinest, able to line up or down and Jones' size (6’5. 265 lbs) gives the Patriots a replacement for Andre Carter.
Hightower, the Alabama defensive signal caller, has the size (6’4, 260 lbs) to play inside or outside and his versatility will add to the flexibility of the Patriots linebacker corps.
Patriots fans have spent years moaning over Belichick's methods in acquiring quantity over targeting one stud. Last night, Belichick saw value going forward instead of backward.
By trading the 3rd and 4th round picks, the Patriots only have two second round picks (48 and 62) left in the entire draft. Belichick will surely do some wheeling and dealing to try to get some extra picks. However, the New England Patriots got their men and could draft at those positions and look to do what they do better than anyone else - raid undated free agents to fill out the rest of their roster.