In the least surprising news ever, the Patriots kept everyone up until late in the night just to trade out of the first round of the draft.

While there were some intriguing names available at 23, the Patriots made the right move by acquiring picks 37 and 71 from the Chargers.

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the Patriots traded their second rounder for Mohamed Sanu last season, so if they stayed put at 23 they would’ve had to wait until pick 87 and watch a bevy of talented players get selected before them. Now, they get an early second and early third rounder for the price of a player that was likely to be there at 37 anyways.

The sweet spot for talent at positions of need for the Patriots is exactly where you would expect – the second and third rounds of this draft. New England now gets to cast a wide net on talent in the middle rounds, a strategy that is much more likely to pay off then simply selecting one player at 23.

It will be very interesting to see exactly how they use these picks, as they now have four third-rounders and possibly Joe Thuney as ammunition to trade back up into the second round. I can also see them trading some of those picks for picks in next years draft. Either way, I don’t see a scenario where the Patriots make all of these selections tonight, but it will be fun to see how they allocate all of them.

Here is a running list of all the picks that the Patriots now possess heading into day two of the NFL draft:

  • Round 2 – Pick 37
  • Round 3 – Pick 71
  • Round 3 – Pick 87
  • Round 3 – Pick 98
  • Round 3 – Pick 100
  • Round 4 – Pick 125
  • Round 4 – Pick 139
  • Round 5 – Pick 172
  • Round 6 – Pick 195
  • Round 6 – Pick 204
  • Round 6 – Pick 212
  • Round 6 – Pick 213
  • Round 7 – Pick 230

Here are some players I can see the Patriots selecting at any point tonight:

  • S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
  • S Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota
  • EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
  • EDGE Zack Baun, Wisconsin
  • EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
  • LB Willie Gay Jr., Mississippi State
  • LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming
  • WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
  • WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
  • WR James Proche, SMU
  • OT Josh Jones, Houston
  • OT Ben Bartch, St. Johns
  • IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
  • IOL Jonah Jackson, Ohio State
  • IOL Netane Muti, Fresno State
  • TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic
  • TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame