Let's make a deal: How could Pats move during Draft?

Let's make a deal: How could Pats move during Draft?
May 5, 2014, 12:15 pm
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The Patriots are annually among the prime suspects in the NFL to make moves on draft weekend because of the way Bill Belichick has dealt picks over the course of the last 14 seasons.

New England has both traded up (twice in 2012 to nab Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower) and traded down (dealt No. 29 for four picks in 2013) in several instances over the course of Belichick's time at the helm. Since he took over the decision-making responsibilities in 2000, Belichick has traded up 17 times and traded down 32 times.

Just days ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft, it's next to impossible to say what exactly the Patriots will do. But if there are deals to be had, they'll almost certainly be listening.

Given the consensus that this year's class of prospects has significant depth thanks to the high number of underclassmen who have declared, it would stand to reason that a trade down from the No. 29 spot would not be out of the question.

Using the Draft Pick Value Chart -- where each pick is assigned a numerical value to determine the fairness of trades involving picks -- here are a few quick options the Patriots may have if they're looking to deal No. 29 for assets in later rounds.

The trade: New England trades No. 29 (640 points on the value chart) to San Francisco for No. 56 (340 points) and No. 61 (292 points).

The breakdown: For the exact same reason the Patriots could be interested in this deal -- plenty of talent to be had on Day 2 -- the Niners may not be willing to part with their two second-rounders. But San Francisco has a couple of big needs at both corner and wideout, and if they love a player still on the board at No. 29 -- say Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin or Ohio State corner Bradley Roby, both of whom have reportedly had private visits with the Niners -- they could potentially be open to a deal.

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The trade: New England trades No. 29 (640 points) to Minnesota for No. 40 (500 points), No. 96 (116 points) and No. 184 (18.8 points).

The breakdown: The Patriots swung a similar deal with the Vikings just last season. They traded pick No. 29 to Minnesota in exchange for a second-rounder (52), third-rounder (83), fourth-rounder (102) and seventh-rounder (229) after coming into the draft with just five selections. The most glaring need for the Vikings is under center, but there is good depth at the quarterback position in this year's draft. If they opt not to select Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles at No. 8 -- perhaps taking a defensive back like Michigan State corner Darqueze Dennard or Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to stabilize their secondary -- they could be interested in the No. 29 pick to get their signal-caller. Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, perhaps?

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The trade: New England trades No. 29 (640 points) to Houston for No. 33 (580 points), No. 141 (35.5 points) and No. 177 (21.6 points).

The breakdown: This would be a case of an old friendship paying quick dividends for first-year Texans coach Bill O'Brien. The former Patriots offensive coordinator knows as well as anyone how Belichick likes to operate when the draft arrives, and maybe there's a chance the former assistant gives his old boss a call on Thursday night. If the Texans go for South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick in the draft, they'll still have a clear need at quarterback. Once again, Bridgewater's availability could come into play if a deal is to be facilitated. If the Texans believe Bridgewater can be the leader of their offense, they may be willing to deal a few picks -- including the first pick of the second round -- in order to make sure he's theirs.