Those darn Patriots are at it again

INDIANAPOLIS -- Typical New England Patriots, working the system.

Most drafts are supposed to level the playing field and create better competition through parity. The worse a team is, the better their draft position is supposed to be the following year.

Not so for the reigning division champs, whose maneuverings have set them up handsomely for the 2010 draft.

NFC West mathematician Mike Sando applied each team's picks through the first two rounds to the widely accepted trade-value chart for draft picks.

Turns out, the Patriots have the most firepower in the division.

The Patriots rank eighth on the list, with the Buffalo Bills 11th, the Miami Dolphins 13th and the New York Jets 26th.

The Patriots were assigned the 22nd selection, but they also have three picks in the second round. They acquired the 44th choice from the Jacksonville Jaguars and the 48th choice from the Tennessee Titans. The Patriots were given the 53rd pick naturally.

Add those up, and you get 2,030 points on the draft-value chart.

The other three AFC East clubs have only two picks apiece and are ranked relative to how they finished the season. Sando's chart of the entire league is posted below.

2010 NFL Draft: First two rounds