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The rumors began swirling on Thursday morning, with the news that a few teams were looking to trade up into the end of the first round to select a quarterback. The Patriots, with just five picks in the entire draft and a history of trading down for more selections, were a prime candidate, and when they went on the clock on Thursday night, nobody was surprised to hear that a deal had been reached.
New England traded the 29th pick in the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings, who already had two first rounders and were not thought to be among the teams looking to move back up. With their new selection, the Vikings took Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. In the deal, the Patriots received the Vikes’ second-, third-, fourth- and seventh-round picks, numbers 52, 83, 102 and 229 overall.
The Pats now have two picks in each of the second and third rounds, one fourth-rounder and three seventh-rounders. With four picks on Friday, it wouldn’t be shocking if they were on the phones once again, looking to trade up into the top of the second round. Of the players the Patriots could be interested in, a handful are still available. Among them: cornerbacks Johnathan Banks of Mississippi State and Jamar Taylor of Boise State, safety Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International, defensive tackles Johnathan Hankins of Ohio State and Kawann Short of Purdue, defensive end Margus Hunt of SMU, and receivers Keenan Allen of California and Justin Hunter of Tennessee, to name a few.
Overall, Thursday’s trade looks like a good one for New England. Bill Belichick has a history of accumulating draft picks which can then be used as trading chips, and he once again put himself in a position to do that this year. The unpredictable first round left plenty of talent available for the taking on Friday, whereas the Vikings’ selection of Patterson at 29 is something of a head-scratcher. Whether or not the Patriots ultimately trade up, they have a good opportunity to pick up some solid value on Friday evening.