2013 NFL Draft Open Thread: Will the Patriots Trade Down?

Armond Armstead

After adding players like former CFL star Armond Armstead, do the Patriots have a good enough roster to avoid trading down?

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Depending on if the Steelers match the offer-sheet signed by receiver Emmanuel Sanders, which it sounds like is still a possibility, the Patriots will either have just two or three picks before the seventh round of the draft.

While the Patriots have had success finding talent that late – Julian Edelman and Alfonzo Dennard come immediately to mind – you have to wonder if Bill Belichick will trade down to fill in the gap with picks in the middle rounds.

However, when everybody thinks they have the Patriots intentions figured out, they always seem to surprise.

The Patriots roster is not one that is rife with holes. Add some depth to the front seven and defensive backfield, draft a developmental lineman, sprinkle in a wide receiver or two, and the Patriots might be feeling pretty good about their 53-man roster.

With the off-season additions of Armond Armstead and Jason Vega, there is already some competition in the front seven. Alfonzo Dennard will be with the team after avoiding any in-season jail time. Julian Edelman has re-signed. Danny Amendola, Donald Jones and perhaps Sanders are joining the team.

Is there really that much room for rookies on the game-day roster?

Give me an impact player on each side of the ball – with the 29th and 59th pick – I don’t think the Patriots need to trade down.

Your turn: Do the Patriots need to trade down to get more picks in the 2013 NFL Draft?

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40 Responses to “2013 NFL Draft Open Thread: Will the Patriots Trade Down?”

  1. Chris says:

    I can see the Patriots trading down if a couple of the players aren’t there that may slip down. That way they can get extra picks–I’m thinking here on Sunday morning that tonight the Steelers follow the heart-felt wish of their franchise QB and re-sign Emmanuel Sanders–and get a player that not enough people are talking about.

    Alex Okafor. http://nfldraftgeek.com/alexokaforscoutingreport.html

    Part of it may be he didn’t play for the SEC. But take a look at his size. He could be paired on the other side with Jones. Those long arms Belichick is desirous of in order to swat down passes.

    We also have a high, almost desperate need, for another impact CB. I’m not sure if we can count on Ras-I Dowling making it back, but I”m hopeful.

    Imagine him paired with Asquid Talib! That’s Seahawks right there! Bring in Dennard and Arrington as the nickel.

    And what about Tavon Wilson? He played more sparingly as the season went on. He needs grooming, which is bonus for the free agent’s signing with the same last name and position. I don’t think Tavon will be starting material, more like part of the nickel package and come on to sub.

  2. PatsDJ says:

    If a player BB likes is there at #29 then take him. If not, Pats will trade down to 2nd round. Here are some trade options that I like:
    1. #29 to Jags for #33 & #98 This gives the Pats the 1st pick on day 2 & 3. Then we take the best offer to trade for more picks.
    2. #29 to Atlanta for #60 & 1st, 2014 this is similar to the New Orleans trade a few years ago.
    3. #29 to SF for #34 & #93 I think SF will want someone at #29 and will make sure they trade up to get them.
    I see this draft from 15 to 70 as pretty much the same player. So, I think we should trade to get more picks in the 2014 draft. There are many more impact players in next years class.

  3. Jeff M says:

    Even with the additions I still think we need another CB, DE, WR, OG/OC, SS and coverage LB. that’s 6 spots for improvement. Even if the Pats were able to get a steal on the OL and say WR in the 7th round and added a DE and DT in UDFA, they’d still need to address CB, SS and cover LB with only 2 picks. Do they have tons of holes? No. Do they have a lot of areas they need to upgrade? Yes. If you told me I could trade 29 and get a 2nd and 3rd rounder instead and maybe snag Elam, Wheaton and Blidi Wreh Wilson and use the 7ths on OL, WR and DT then try our hand at UDFA for a LB, I’d feel better than expecting to nail two “impact” defenders with our current track record in the secondary.

  4. scott cullen says:

    if sanders does sign then we only need to draft one receiver. As much as i love hopkins I think robert woods and terrence williams are better fits. another competing corner would be good. watched a lot of DJ hayden last year. he has great eyes for the quaterback and impresses most jumping out of breaks to make plays. freeney or abraham are still possibilites. one of them would be great. if barrett jones is still around with the 59th i would draft him. he is so versatile and would add to protecting brady.an immediate contributor. a coverage line backer is also a need. I just hope the pats office pick wisely if they dont trade down. our 3rd round pick last year was a waste. bequette wont be around long. lets hope we get another 7th round steal. a precise quality draft could push us one step close to a superbowl.

    • cc says:

      I’ll revert revert back my drafting post in (Mathew Jones) April 10th 3-round draft on this.

  5. MaineMan says:

    The trade-down scenarios for the #29 that are:

    a) mathematically reasonable by the Standard Value Chart
    b) net the Pats an extra 2013 pick or two (as opposed to 2014 picks)
    c) are practical from the standpoint of the trade partner (IOW, they don’t have to give up most of their entire remaining 2013 draft in exchange for the #29)

    are actually fairly limited. A few of these would require the Pats to trade the #29 AND the #91 for 3 or 4 picks from the trade partner, and those scenarios kinda go away if the Steelers take that #91 for Sanders. So, if that happens, the question is not “WILL the Pats trade down?”, but “CAN the Pats find a partner to trade down with?”

    • acm says:

      I think you are putting way too much value and faith into that so called standard value chart. That was just some gimmicky brain child of someone who should cut back on the Madden and Fantasy League stuff.

      What matters in a deal is how much one team or another wants certain things from said deal or not – call it leverage, call it circumstances, call it whatever you want but these are things no gimmicky chart can measure.

      For example, with the 49ers having so few roster spots and so many picks this year, especially in the 4th round and later, no chart can measure their desire to get another 1st round pick in some sort of a package deal. To a team like the 49ers, an extra 1st rounder means a lot while a 5th rounder probably has little to no value to them given their circumstances.

      Similar arguments could be made for teams looking to move up into late 1st in order to get a QB there because they don’t think drafting one early in the first would be worth it, while they are positioned late enough in the 2nd to have serious doubts any of the decent QB’s would fall to them e.g. Bills, Bucs, etc.

      Point is, every deal/negotiation comes with it’s own unique circumstances and they don’t have to necessarily makes sense to other external parties.

      • Billy C. says:

        It was created by Jimmie Johnson who was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys at that time

        • acm says:

          doesn’t matter who created it – the point is that a chart like that is good for little to nothing as it standardizes things that are not standard but very much unique to every different situation/trade.

      • Jeff M says:

        That’s not really the case actually. There are plenty of teams who are willing to give up 3-7th rounders to get up even a few spots if a player they covet I’d in striking distance. If the Jags don’t take a QB at #2 and see Barkley still sitting there at 29 you think they wouldn’t give up #33 and a 4th to ensure they get their guy and keep another team from jumping up and taking him?

        Many of these trade scenarios are discussed by teams in advance, so the Pats will likely know already who may be interested and what is on the table well before the draft starts.

      • MaineMan says:

        The SVC is not a “gimmick” at all. It was never some arbitrary “brainchild” of some outside 3rd party or some sort of fantasy league stuff.

        The Standard Value Chart was developed by Jimmie Johnson’s staff in the late 1980s through closely examining the *actual history* of draft pick trades and charting what picks had been typically required in exchange for higher picks. This was done for literally dozens of previous drafts for all teams. In a process that took several months, point values were worked out to represent those previous trades in such a way that corresponding point values for other picks that had NOT previously been involved in trades could PREDICT how those trades would actually fall in the future and with a very high degree of accuracy. IOW, all this chart did was to QUANTIFY WHAT WAS ALREADY STANDARD PRACTICE in the league (and remains standard practice to this day).

        Once the Johnson and the ‘Boys had this useful tool, they kept it to themselves exclusively and used it for a few years to basically screw other teams on those trades and amass a number of extra picks for themselves.

        Eventually, as members of the ‘Boys inner coaching circle took promotions with other teams, the “secret” got out, usage became widespread and part of public knowledge.

        In fact, since the mid-1990s, 90% of all pick trades have balanced to within 5% of equivalent SVC numbers – the majority of the exceptions being trades involving the top five picks during the period when rookie contracts for those selections were completely out of control.

        What you’re talking about – the unique circumstances for a given team in a given draft – is the major factor WRT whether a trade actually happens or not. But, if the trade takes place, it will very likely adhere very closely to SVC.

        • acm says:

          you are just going on Fantasy League autopilot here and not thinking on your own. You are making this chart thing look very complex and accomplished but the reality is that all it’s doing is assign a number value in decreasing order of the picks – do you really need years of statistics and a presumably a load of pseudo-science and whatnot to figure out that 50th has just as much more value over the 49th as 49th has over the 48th? If so, then someone really took advantage of someone else’s gullibility.
          Let’s be serious here and not make up Coca-Cola secret recipe stories here.

          Bottom line is you don’t need a standard chart to tell you that a late 3rd round pick has less standard value than a mid round pick and even less than a early 3rd round pick. The problem here is, AGAIN, this entire standardization of pick value which may work in Fantasy League but not in reality.

          In reality, a given pick carries different value to different teams depending on their needs and circumstances, players available at said pick, etc, etc. And to expect that the SVC is standard practice in the league is ridiculous – can you honestly imagine Dimitroff going to the Browns with a SVC in hand “begging” them to strike a deal for that 6th pick? Or Jerry Jones doing the same with Washington for Claiborne? Do you honestly think those deals happened because the Falcons and Cowboys got a fair SVC value in return and would have fallen thru otherwise.

          Do you honestly think that a team in need of a QB, like the Redskins last year, and desperate to trade up for one would be looking at SVC values and such when making the deal? Do you really think they would have given up on RG3 because the almighty SVC said they would lose out on 100 or whatever number of pts in that trade?

        • Bobby says:

          Comment removed by editor

        • acm says:

          One other thing – the way the SVC estimates trade values is way too finely grained/tuned to be applicable to real-world trades. In reality, a team rarely has more than 1 pick in a given round, and they cannot choose where they pick in that round, which allows for a rather crude, coarse-grained estimate of the value of said pick. E.g in the real world, a team’s 2nd round pick can only be roughly estimated as being a late, mid, or early 2nd round pick … or at best, within a range of say 8 picks, which would separate a round into 4 groups.
          The SVC on the other hand, with the way it assigns closely-spaced value pts to each pick dictates precision that is inapplicable in a real trade.

        • acm says:

          and one more thing – if trading in the NFL takes place guided by such a finely tuned model, as per the SVC, how do you explain the widely spread practice of including future picks in trades? Obviously one cannot have a finely-tuned estimate for the value of a team’s future pick within 10-20 pts or whatever, considering the SVC assigns a pretty big gap in points between an early round and a late round pick.

          In case you needed further evidence of how poorly applicable a fantasy league tool like the SVC is to real world circumstances.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Johnson’s trade chart was developed before the rookie wage scale, not sure how useful those values are currently

      • MaineMan says:

        Actually, the rookie wage scale only had a dramatic impact on contracts given to selections in the top half of the 1st round. It also created some adjustments for later picks, but, by the top of Round Two, it mostly standardized what was fairly common practice.

        Ironically, the trade chart has been extremely accurate – EXCEPT for those trades involving the highest picks during that period when rookie contracts for the Top-10 were out of control. Since the imposition of the rookie wage scale, the SVC has ben even more accurate.

        • Nuf Ced says:

          I would hold most of the first round has been effected by the RWS/CBA as the amount of guaranteed money for picks above 20 is half of what it was. You are correct that the SVC reflects reality; last years draft day trades were all within 93% (in the first few rounds). It could be its more accurate now as the obscene inflation of top 10 picks since the SVC was created has been checked by the CBA.

  6. joe says:

    People don’t realize that team still have to cut players just to sign their rookies. I don’t think Dallas or Washington has enough money to sign their draft picks. I agree with this article too the pats have one of the youngest defences and theirs not much room on roster. They will go DL to take over kellys position and for rotation purpose. Maybe wr , cb and ol . One of each and their done

    • MaineMan says:

      Teams won’t necessarily need to cut players to sign their picks, even if they’re fairly close to the cap number. Only the top 51 players count against the cap, so, for every guy who’s signed, another guy (and his cap number) drops off the bottom.

      For example, before the Pats re-signed Edelman, their 51st highest-paid player took $555k in cap space. Edelman’s cap number is $765k, but as soon as he signed, the $555k guy became #52 and no longer counted against the cap. Thus, the “net” cap hit for Edelman is only $210k.

      With the rookie wage scale, the 1st year cap hit for a draftee – even from the bottom 1/3rd of the first round – is about $1.4M, regardless of the total 5-year contract value (which is what’s typically stated in the media). That signing will knock a guy off the bottom end whose cap hit is between $500k and $600k, thus making the net one-year cap hit for that draftee between $800k and $900k. Players drafted in the 6th and 7th and UDFAs rarely hit the cap in their rookie seasons for even as much as a team’s 51st player, so those signings don’t hit the cap at all.

      • joe says:

        If you sign a guy for league minimum it goes against your cap. So 5 players at 700,000 on 1 year deals is 3.5 million Pitt does not have that nor Washington. You watch team are not cutting player their will be a couple big names to get cut

  7. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    My money is on the Patriots tradeing with Tampa , our first #29 for thier, 2#43 4th #112 4th #126.
    Then I’m projecting we draft;
    #43- LB Sio Moore
    #59- CB Jordan Poyer
    #91 gone to the Steelers, for WR Sanders
    #112- DT Jared Smith
    #126-CB Micah Hyde
    7th- OG/C T.J. Johnson
    7th- WR Mark Harrison

    • MaineMan says:

      I think that BB likes Schiano a lot, but those three picks only add up to 586 points on the Standard Value Chart for a pick valued at 640. That 54-point discount is the equivalent of yet another 4th-rounder or their 5th (#147) plus their 6th (#181). That would leave Schiano with only a 3rd (#73) and his other 6th (#196), and I don’t think HE likes BB enough (or covets the #29 enough) to do that.

      • joe says:

        You forget they will be getting the jets 1st and 3rd. I still think BB still has something in the works with mallat either with Tampa or Cleveland

        • MaineMan says:

          Umm, I think it’s the JETS who’d be getting TAMPA’s 1st and 3rd, for Revis. Although, I suspect that the Jets would gladly give Tampa their 1st and 3rd if Tampa agreed to take Sanchez off their hands. (heh)

          Actually, the Mallet thing works with Pittsburgh, too. If the Steelers were to agree to take Mallet instead of the #91, they end up with a viable young backup to Big Ben – a guy who’s actually about the same size and strength – for the next TWO years at a total of $1.74 million. That’s far less than what they’ll have to cough up to retain Sanders.

        • joe says:

          Sorry DA your right, I still think mall at is gone to clevland . Cleveland will trade back

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Why would TB do that? Unless a player they target/covet is there at 29 they have no incentive to trade.

  8. Nuf Ced says:

    Using last year as barometer with the rookie wage scale I think the days of the trade down for the sake of more picks hoping to hit on cheaper talent are done for a bit.

    This team is a year removed from a trip to the SB and was only 1 game a way this year. Contrary to the sky is falling WR love going on around Patriot fan sites and the dead horse of needing another CB this team really has few holes and areas that could be upgraded by a bevy of 2nd/3rd/4th rounders.

    I would prefer to target someone BB thinks can start or play significant snaps THIS year.

    • MaineMan says:

      Since the Pats’ “own” 1st rounders (as opposed to the ones they’ve traded forward for) have nearly always come in the bottom quarter of the 1st, and since the rookie wage scale didn’t impact the net expense for guys picked in those spots and later very much, I doubt that BB trading down into the 2nd has had very much at all to do with saving money.

      If, in BB’s prospect evaluations (for the Pats’ specific schemes), there isn’t any real immediate-impact difference between the guys available at #29 and the guys who are likely to be available at #36 or #44 or #57, taking two 2nds and an extra 4th simply increases the odds of coming up with at least one guy who can eventually make some sort of contribution.

      BTW, the Cowboys invented this strategy way back when, which is why they developed the Standard Value Chart for trading picks in the first place.

      The other thing is that, teams that are perennial playoff participants are already pretty strong and most in need of getting incrementally stronger and deeper at several different positions simultaneously in order to get over the hump and into the Superbowl. The teams that are still trying to surmount the first hurdle – getting INTO the playoffs to begin with – are much more in need of that 1st Round, immediate impact player in order to BECOME competitive and then build around that guy later.

      Again, it was the ‘Boys who figured that out – back when THEY were perennial SB contenders.

      • Nuf Ced says:

        Dude I’m over 40… I know my history. The Cowboys stunk in the late 80s lucked into Aikman and got Minnesota to do something completely silly that is what set up them up. Johnson didn’t just trade for trade sake he traded for value and into the value section of the draft (different every year). If recall correctly he tried like crazy to trade out of number 1 slot when he took Russell Maryland – he knew that was a weak draft at the top… But so did every other GM so he couldn’t get value.

        BB will trade down if the value isn’t there at any pick IF there is a willing dance partner (hence why we have Dowling, BB couldn’t trade the pick). You are correct about the “odds” statement, that is part of the strategy of accumulating picks.

        My point of the rookie wage scale has to do with BB’s willingness to trade up in the first round. Remember he moved down from 7 to 10 to take Mayo because the difference in the contract was over $20mm (Ellis 5yr/$49mm-$19guarnteed; Mayo 5yr/$18.9-13guarnteed). Last years #7 Mark Barron signed for 4yr/14.4–$8mm guaranteed; a much easier contract to work into the cap.

        Compare Ellis’ contract that to the second round deal that Ron Brace signed 4yr w/ $2.8mm guaranteed… Loading up on 2nds is an economic policy in which bust picks are not cap killing. But after a certain point additional mid round talent will not get you over the hump; cost controlled impact players will. I believe we are at that point.

        Last year the Pats 2 first rounders cost combined less than than Jermaine Gresham’s whole deal. Jones got 4 yrs $8.1mm–$4.3 guaranteed; Hightower got 4yrs $7.7mm–$4mm guaranteed

        In 2010 the 21st pick got Gresham 5yr $15.85–$9.6guaranteed and the 25th pick Tebow got 5 yr $11.25 million–$8.7mm guaranteed ( and a max of $33 million through certain performance-based incentives). Yes the contracts are a yr longer but the guaranteed money is significantly less – again not cap killing.

        The economics are different… Maybe that’s why Bill was working out Ansah and Jordan? It’s now not a cap killing move to move up to get impact talent; the economics now favor it.

        • MaineMan says:

          Sorry. I didn’t understand that you were referring to trading UP (like last year). And, you’re completely correct that, with the rookie wage scale, trading higher INTO the 1st round is much more economically feasible. I also agree with you that, back in the “pre-scale” days, trading down a couple picks for Mayo was absolutely a financial move, and a very smart one.

          This draft, though, I’m not sure that trading up is a practical option, especially if the #91 goes to the Steelers for Sanders. That would leave BB with only the #29 and #59 which, combined, would only get them up to the #17 (coincidentally owned by the Steelers).

          Also, IMHO, more than one position seems to need some strengthening. I think BB would like to try to acquire a significantly-talented, young big guy on the interior DL for now and for the inevitable Wilfork-less future. If such a guy isn’t there at #29, the secondary could certainly use more young depth, WR seems far from settled (to me), and even TE and OL depth are a bit questionable. And there’s always the thought of getting a more impactful bookend for Jones who’d allow Nink to return to OLB where he’s better-suited.

          As you say, though, if the trade value isn’t there (and missing the #91 reduces BB’s flexibility a bit WRT finding an equitable deal), BB will pick SOMEbody at #29 and make the best of it he can.

  9. bob says:

    Good thread for a discussion. I still hope they just concentrate ob D. Stay put and get a starter and development reserve anywhere on D. If they keep the 3rd, trade that down for more. Then the fun begins with what they do with UFAs. That I believe they excel at. Luv to se Jesse Williams next to Vince or Tank as a reserve. Help at DB seems to always be needed. Defense wins championships. I hope they get the D back to the glory days. Brady has a lot of options already. And with a 1k Yard running between the tackles and plenty of tight ends, the offensive will put up points. Go D. Last thought, Wilfork at wide-out…. Vince rules…

  10. Jake says:

    I could see them trading out of the first, and aquiring an early second rounder and a 4th. Then probably another trade somewhere around the mid-rounds. But with the early second rounder i could see them getting Margus Hunt, then with their other second rounder draft Aaron Dobson.

  11. Matt says:

    Pats without a doubt are gonna deal on draft day and try to add atleast 2-3 picks. First and foremost they need WR’s and DB help. Then address the D-line and interior O-line. All there WR’s are injury prone. Most are signed to 1 year contracts. I doubt Jenkins even makes the team. They need atleast 2 WR’s from this draft and they need to be hits not misses like past years

  12. Matt says:

    The Patriots never like to enter a draft with glaring needs. It would make their moves predictable and could force their hand to reach for a player. What the Patriots have done is add some moderate depth to positions of need, largely eliminating the above scenario from happening. However, whether Sanders ultimately becomes a Patriot or not could influence how much Belichick values certain players in this draft.

    If Sanders is acquired: The Patriots will be left with their 1st, 2nd, and two 7th rounders. That’s abysmal for any team, and I know Bill would have fits if this was all he had to work with. Thankfully, if Sanders signs, they could trade their 1st for a 2nd and a 3rd/4th, and continue to trade down and maneuver the board. I could see them having two 2nds, a 3rd/4th, a 5th, and maybe both of their 7ths in this scenario, which is much better than what they currently have.

    If Sanders stays a Steeler: I could see the Patriots valuing a WR in either round 1 or 2 before trading down. Names I hear are Markus Wheaton and DeAndre Hopkins. As much as I believe they want Jamar Taylor (or at least a CB to replace Talib next year), if they can’t get another young receiver, they may have to bite the bullet here. Assuming they’d take a WR in round 1, they could trade out of the 2nd and acquire maybe a 3rd or 4th.

  13. acm says:

    some of the aforementioned players – like Donald Jones and Vega – are quite likely to not even make the final roster. So, even if they get Sanders, I’d say the pats need at the very least 3-4 impact players, which would be tough to get without trading out of the 1st in a draft that’s pretty deep at a number of positions.

    Just of the top of my head, a true #1 receiver is needed to give Brady what Lloyd never did, an impact player in the secondary (S or CB), a coverage OLB and at least a DL-man (DT or edge rusher, depending on value available).

  14. jim says:

    Agreed. I like deandre hopkins then darius slay… Slay could contribute on special teams right away and add depth to CB. Also making it easier to let talib walk after this season knowing youve had a CB in ur system for a year

  15. kevin says:

    this draft is full of talent in the second rounds and beyond. we only need to trade out of the first round. To pick up some more chips a second round and a first next year or a second and a fourth this year. i would prefer a second this year and a first next year. There is legit secondary talent in the second round player like margus hunt, datone jones, justin hunter, david amerson, darius slay, logan ryan and a host of others. Make trading back a must and many options on the board in the second and third round.

  16. DON says:

    Pats are waiting for Teboo to be released. They plan on moving up the board by trading Mallett and #1 for either Ziggy or Jordon

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