FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots just keep reloading, which is one of the big takeaways from the NFL's announcement of compensatory draft picks on Friday.
The bottom-line news is this:
With Cleveland awarded a third-round compensatory draft choice (103rd overall), that pick goes to New England as part of the compensation for linebacker Jamie Collins. Had the Browns not been awarded that pick, the Patriots would have had a fourth-round selection.
So by my count, the Patriots will have four of the top 103 picks in the 2017 draft and eight picks overall:
First round (32nd overall)
Second round (64th overall)
Third round (96th overall)
Third round (103rd overall)
Fourth round (137th overall)
There was quite a bit of wheeling and dealing from the Patriots, but some of the key things to know:
• The Patriots lost a fourth-round pick as part of the NFL's Deflategate penalties but acquired a fourth-rounder during last year's draft in a deal with Seattle. The Patriots lose the higher pick, which is a difference of five slots.
• The sixth-round pick was shipped to Detroit in exchange for LB Kyle Van Noy.
• The pick traded for CB Eric Rowe is pushed for 2018 as it involves playing-time considerations.