May 24, 2022

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Patriots and Texans swap late-round picks in…

3 min read
Patriots and Texans swap late-round picks in...

It’s draft week and New England Patriots fans can hardly wait any longer to see who the team selects with its first-round pick.

Will one of the top receivers fall to them? Will they opt to protect Mac Jones and draft the best remaining offensive lineman? A cornerback has to be in play, too, after they lost Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson in a span of months.

With Bill Belichick presiding over the showcase, anything is possible. We wouldn’t even rule out a potential draft night trade. Under Belichick’s tutelage, though, the Patriots have been more renowned for trading back than moving up.

Wouldn’t you know it, this narrative rang true on Monday, as the Patriots struck a surprise pre-draft trade with the Houston Texans.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New England is sending their fifth-round pick to Houston in exchange for sixth and seventh-round picks.

The Patriots and Texans made a surprising pre-draft trade.

This deal doesn’t even sniff the pre-draft blockbuster between the Saints and Eagles that materialized a few weeks ago, but Belichick has never been one to make a ton of noise before the draft itself.

On the surface, this late-round swap makes sense for both parties.

Prior to the trade, the Texans owned three sixth-round picks — Nos. 183, 205 and 207 — and zero in the fifth, so it’s only natural they wanted to climb into the fifth, where they could find solid value given how deep this year’s class is.

From New England’s perspective, this trade gives them more ammunition to make another mid-round deal or simply add more talent in the later rounds. It remains to be seen which fifth-round pick the Pats surrendered (they had Nos. 158 and 170 coming into today), but the deal now leaves them with three sixth-rounders.

If our math is correct, that means Belichick and Co. will have one pick in each of the first five rounds, three in the sixth (though we’d expect at least one of them to be moved), and a seventh-rounder, which they didn’t previously have.

Again, it’s not an earth-shattering trade, but it could loom large later in the week if any of the Patriots’ acquired picks get dealt. We’re not going to pretend like we know what Belichick is thinking, but we think we speak for most of Patriots Nation when we say this trade might prelude another.

Leave it to Belichick to strike business with a former friend in Nick Caserio, who’s entering his second year as Houston’s general manager after he had spent the previous 20 years in New England, including 18 in player personnel.

This trade now marks the second between Belichick and Caserio. The first, ironically enough, saw the Patriots send Marcus Cannon to Houston while the two teams swapped picks in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds of last year’s draft.

Patriots and Texans swap late-round picks in surprise pre-draft trade