FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With back-to-back trades over the last two days, the New England Patriots have redistributed salary-cap commitments from defensive end to the tight end and offensive line positions, while also adding to and tweaking their stash of draft picks.
Bill Belichick's affinity for draft picks is well documented, so let's reset the picture to detail what the Patriots currently have:
Second round (No. 60)
Second round (No. 61, from Arizona, via Chandler Jones trade)
Third round (No. 91)
Third round (No. 96, compensatory)
Sixth round (No. 196, from Houston/Keshawn Martin trade)
Sixth round (No. 204, from Chicago/Martellus Bennett trade)
Sixth round (No. 208, compensatory)
Sixth round (No. 214, compensatory)
Sixth round (No. 221, compensatory)
Seventh round (No. 243, from Houston/Ryan Mallett trade)
Seventh round (No. 250)
NOTES: The first-round pick was stripped away by the NFL as part of the Deflategate punishment. ... The fourth-rounder went to Chicago in exchange for Bennett and a 2016 sixth-rounder. ... The fifth-rounder went to Houston in the trade for Martin and a 2016 sixth-round pick. ... The 2016 sixth-round pick that the Patriots received from the Bears was the pick New England had traded to Chicago in the deal for linebacker Jon Bostic. ... Compensatory draft picks can't be traded in 2016, but will be allowed to be traded in 2017. ... If the Patriots make all five selections in the sixth round, that would mark the highest number of picks they've had in a round in Belichick's tenure. ... With a big gap between their late third-round pick (96) and next selection (196), part of the draft-day strategy could be to find a way to bridge that gap.