Patriots

Checking in on Patriots compensatory haul through two days of free agency

Checking in on Patriots compensatory haul through two days of free agency

We're through two days of free agency and the Patriots have yet to make a big splash. But their haul thus far goes beyond a few pass-catchers you'd never heard of prior to Thursday and a run-game staple on the defensive line.

There are those compensatory picks. There are always compensatory picks.

According to Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com, the Patriots are currently scheduled to land two comp picks in 2020 -- both third-rounders. Korte has Malcom Brown, Cordarrelle Patterson and Eric Rowe's departures canceled out by New England's acquisition of Brandon Bolden, Mike Pennel and Terrence Brooks.

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Should Patriots free agents like Chris Hogan, Stephen Gostkowski, Danny Shelton or LaAdrian Waddle sign elsewhere, the Patriots could end up with other later-round picks. Still, those two thirds represent one of the best compensatory pick packages in the league to this point. 

The Patriots, Eagles and Seahawks -- teams that have combined to win five of the last seven Super Bowls -- are among the teams atop the comp pick chart. That's not a coincidence. And last season's Super Bowl runner-up, the Rams, landed two third-round picks and two sevenths via the compensatory pick formula. 

With the rules on trading comp picks changing two years ago -- prior to that teams had to keep their compensatory selections -- they have more value than ever. And for a team like the Patriots, which has gotten older due in part to its willingness to deal away picks for veterans, that means more ammo. Whether the picks are used to maneuver up the draft, traded, or used to nab rookies, they offer real returns for teams that remain disciplined in their spending and don't cancel out their compensatory awards.

The Patriots have four compensatory picks in this year's draft, the maximum number for any team. (Only 32 picks are awarded every year.) Two are thirds. They could be used on players or to climb up the draft to get into an area of the draft -- perhaps higher in the second round? -- to improve their chances of landing impactful rookies. While having an older roster has worked out for them, they understand they need to start building up their next young core. They also have a sixth and a seventh-round comp pick that could somehow chip away at that goal.

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Keeping those two thirds in 2020, though, could have a real impact on how the Patriots approach the rest of free agency. Even if they were to create enough cap space to ink a high-priced free agent (for instance, someone like Ndamukong Suh), would they if it meant potentially parting ways with a third? Seems unlikely. Even signing someone relatively expensive like Adam Humphries or Golden Tate would've preserved those thirds as both receivers are projected to land their teams fourth-round comp picks.

Lately the Patriots have gone out of their way to preserve their comp-pick awards by trading for players -- Trent Brown, Jason McCourty, Kyle Van Noy, Dwayne Allen, Cordarrelle Pattersion are all recent pick-for-player swaps they've executed -- as opposed to being big-time wheelers and dealers in free agency. They could also make plays for free agents who've been released since they don't count against the comp-pick formula. Potential fits like Justin Houston and Jordy Nelson would fall into that category.

To the smartest teams in the league, those compensatory picks matter. And it looks like the Patriots are going to end up protecting theirs again.

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2019 NFL Draft Tracker: Live results of all 32 first-round picks

2019 NFL Draft Tracker: Live results of all 32 first-round picks

After many long months of scouting and preparation, the time has come for teams to make the first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Round 1 will take place Thursday night in Nashville, where the Arizona Cardinals will open the night with the No. 1 overall selection. 

Unlike previous years, the quarterback class isn't amazing, but that isn't likely to stop multiple teams from addressing this important position in the first round. This draft class is most deep and rich at talent on the defensive side of the ball. There are several defensive lineman and defensive backs who project to be very good NFL players, and we should here many of their names on the first night of the draft.

The New England Patriots will close out the first round at pick No. 32 as the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Patriots have traded out of the first round on several occasions during Bill Belichick's tenure, but there haven't been any recent reports suggesting New England is looking to move down from No. 32.

Here's the updated first-round draft order. We will add every pick to the right team as it happens, so be sure to follow this article throughout Thursday night. The action begins at 8 p.m. ET.

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (via Kansas City)
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

Click here for our 2019 NFL Draft rumors live blog>>>

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2019 NFL Draft live stream: Watch all 32 first-round picks online

2019 NFL Draft live stream: Watch all 32 first-round picks online

After many months of mock drafts, player rankings and trade rumors, the 2019 NFL Draft finally is here.

Nashville will play host to the first round on Thursday night, where the future of nearly every team will be greatly impacted.

The Arizona Cardinals have the No. 1 overall pick, and the most likely candidate for that selection is Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who won the Heisman Trophy last season. If Murray is taken, what does that mean for Josh Rosen's future in Arizona?

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will end the first round with pick No. 32, unless they trade the selection. New England has 12 picks in this draft, including six over the first three rounds, so Bill Belichick has plenty of ammo to make a move up in Round 1 if he wants to be bold.

Here's how to watch the 2019 NFL Draft online.

When: Thursday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN

Click for our final 2019 Patriots mock draft roundup>>>

Click for Phil Perry's final 2019 NFL Mock Draft>>>

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