As the first round of the 2007 NFL draft wound down, the New England Patriots still had needs to fill. They had just lost in the AFC Championship in disappointing fashion to the Indianapolis Colts and the fans across Patriots nation were calling for more weapons to surround Tom Brady with.
The Pats had already taken safety Brandon Meriweather with the 24th overall pick that they had gotten for Deion Branch, and now could have their choice of any of the wide receivers who were about to be drafted in the next 18 picks: Anthony Gonzalez, Craig “Buster” Davis, Sidney Rice, or Dwayne Jarrett.
Instead the Patriots did what they almost always do, they traded down and began a journey of value returns from that pick that would continue through the next four drafts.
The initial trade was with San Francisco and gave the Patriots a 1st round pick the following year, as well as a 4th rounder in 2007 (110th overall). These two picks would net the Pats two star players.
The 2008 first rounder pick ended up getting traded down from 7th overall to 10th overall, netting the Patriots future defensive captain Jerod Mayo and future PatsPropaganda boo Shawn Crable. While a bust, Crable did give the “We Need Pass Rush!” crowd a glimmer of hope for a few seasons.
But it was the 2007 110th overall pick that would end up making history for the Pats. They flipped that 4th round selection to the Raiders for Randy Moss and we all know how that ended up going. Moss set the receiving TD record in 2007, and closed out a four year Patriots stint with 50 total touchdowns.
In 2010 the Patriots traded Moss to the Vikings in exchange for a 2011 3rd round selection, which ended up being the 74th overall pick where they took QB Ryan Mallett. Who knows what Mallett’s career with the Patriots will hold, but with him carries the legacy of the 2007 28th overall pick.
So to sum up the Patriots have thus far gotten the following out of that first round selection that they chose to trade to the 49ers who took Joe Staley with it:
- Randy Moss
- Jerod Mayo
- Shawn Crable
- Ryan Mallett
That is what value drafting is all about.