Why Pats top '11 picks likely aren't for sale

The first question asked in today's Patriots mailbag on ESPNBoston.com was the possibility of Bill Belichick dealing one of the team's 2011 first-round draft choices for another top selection this year. The thinking was that with 2010 being such a strong draft, maybe the Patriots will see value in such a move if it is a possibility.

My thought was that it is not likely, because trading future picks isn't something Belichick seems to believe in.

Here is some evidence to support that statement:

In dissecting every draft-day trade made by the Patriots since Belichick was named head coach in 2000, there were 16 in which the Patriots picked up a draft pick the following year (e.g. a 2009 third-round pick traded for a 2010 second-round pick).

Meanwhile, the total number of draft-day trades in which the Patriots gave up a draft pick the following year looked like this: 0.

There have been times when the Patriots are willing to give up future picks, such as in trades for veterans Ted Washington, Corey Dillon, Andre Davis and Derrick Burgess. But those trades didn't come on draft day.

Based on this history, it seems like a longshot that the Patriots, on draft day, would deal either of their 2011 first-round draft picks for a selection this year.