Once again, Patriots busy moving down in draft

NEW YORK — It has become an annual first-round tradition. Commissioner Roger Goodell steps up to the podium and announces: “The Patriots have traded their pick.”

It was no different this year, as New England, for the second consecutive year, moved down twice in its perpetual quest to acquire more draft choices.

Overall, the Patriots have now traded down in the first round of three straight drafts, and the results have been mixed. In 2008, they moved down with the Saints and still got standout linebacker Jerod Mayo in the first round. The extra pick the Patriots acquired was used on LB Shawn Crable, who has yet to make a substantial contribution.

Last season, New England traded completely out of the first round, and picked up a multitude of picks. Out of all the extra selections they amassed, however, none ended up being impact players (Sebastian Vollmer was taken with the pick they already had).

The players in the spots they moved out of, however, ended up having sensational rookie seasons. The Ravens chose rookie OT Michael Oher with the first-round pick they got from the Patriots and he was one of the better pass protectors in the league, while the Packers chose Pro Bowl LB Clay Matthews with the pick they got from the Patriots.

This year, the Patriots have a total of 12 remaining picks for the next two days.

Jason Feller

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