FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As expected, the Patriots traded out of the first round, shipping their 29th overall selection to the Vikings for second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round draft choices.
This move reflects the Patriots' belief that the quality of player they will select in the second round is similar to what they were looking at with the 29th selection. They didn't enter the day coveting many players in this draft. To move down 23 drops is a significant drop, but the Patriots -- who were handcuffed with just five selections entering the day -- now get some flexibility that they covet on draft day (8 overall selections).
Chances are they aren't done wheeling and dealing.
Given the Patriots' need at receiver, one question to ask is whether it would have been better to target one of the top pass-catchers still available. With the 29th pick acquired from Patriots, the Vikings selected Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, and his career figures to be closely watched from a New England perspective. If he becomes a No. 1 receiver that the Patriots could have used on the outside, this could mirror what unfolded in 2009 with a trade down with the Packers, who took pass-rusher Clay Matthews. We'll also keep an eye on any defenders who go off the board between 29-52 along these lines.
But the initial instinct from here is that the Patriots will be able to address receiver (Markus Wheaton?), and other areas such as cornerback (Blidi Wreh-Wilson?) with picks that many analysts have pegged as the sweet spot of a draft that was low on star quality but had some quality depth into the second and, in the eyes of some, third rounds.
Naturally, it's too early to judge this trade without seeing what the Patriots do with the picks. But a trade down was something endorsed at this address before the draft, and nothing changed that viewpoint based on the way the board fell.
EXTRA POINT: For what it's worth, the draft value chart on Ourlads.com totals the points of the picks trades as 648 for the Patriots and 640 for the Vikings.