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Patriots have Jaguars to thank for Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars and former GM Gene Smith deserve some credit for the New England Patriots’ last Super Bowl victory, though nobody could have realized it in 2009.

Credit to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen for remembering and bringing this up in their notes column, but the Jaguars and Patriots swapped picks on draft day six years ago and the players each team chose are big reasons why the franchises are in their current states.

The Jaguars traded their seventh-round pick in 2009 and their second-round pick in 2010 for New England’s third-round pick. The player the Jaguars wanted to move up to get was cornerback Derek Cox, who had 12 interceptions and 32 pass breakups in four seasons with the Jaguars. However, he missed 13 games because of injuries and never developed into the elite corner the Jaguars believed he could be.

The player the Patriots took with that seventh-round pick? Julian Edelman, who was a quarterback at Kent State before turning into the second coming of Wes Welker.

As for what the Patriots did with the second-round pick in 2010, they gave that pick and their sixth-round pick to Oakland for the Raiders’ second-round pick. The player the Patriots then chose was Rob Gronkowski.

The Jaguars-Patriots trade is reminiscent of two deals the Jaguars made in which they made better choices than the teams with which they traded.

In 1995, the Jaguars traded their third-round pick (66th overall) and fifth-round pick (170th overall) to Green Bay for an unknown backup quarterback named Mark Brunell. He went on to become the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards, completions, and touchdowns. He led the NFL in passing in 1996 (4,367 yards), was a three-time Pro Bowler and also led the Jaguars to a pair of AFC Championship game appearances.

With the third-round pick, the Packers took fullback William Henderson, who ran for 426 yards and five TDs and caught 320 passes for 2,409 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 years with the Packers. He made one Pro Bowl.

With the fifth-round pick, the Packers took running back Travis Jervey, who ran for 431 yards and one touchdown in four seasons with the Packers.

In 1998, the Jaguars traded backup quarterback Rob Johnson to Buffalo for the Bills’ first-round pick (ninth overall). With that selection, the Jaguars took running back Fred Taylor, who went on to become the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. He had seven 1,000-yard seasons in Jacksonville, including what was then a franchise-record 1,572 yards in 2003.

Johnson was 9-17 in 26 starts with the Bills over four seasons.