The NFL released its official 2014 NFL first-round draft order Tuesday, confirming what colleague Field Yates wrote following the AFC Championship Game -- the Patriots currently own the 29th overall selection (complete list of current picks).
This is the same selection the Patriots owned heading into the 2013 draft, which they traded to the Minnesota Vikings for second- third-, fourth- and seventh-round selections. The Vikings selected receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. The Patriots did well in the exchange, drafting/acquiring linebacker Jamie Collins, cornerback Logan Ryan, receiver Josh Boyce and running back LeGarrette Blount with the picks received in return.
Last year provides a feel for the potential value of the pick in a trade. As for the type of player/impact the Patriots might find at that point in the draft, Patterson was a Pro Bowl selection as a returner this year.
Here's a snapshot look at the other selections made at that spot over the last decade:
2012: Safety Harrison Smith (Vikings)
2011: OL Gabe Carimi (Bears)
2010: CB Kyle Wilson (Jets)
2009: WR Hakeem Nicks (Giants)
2008: DE Kentwan Balmer (49ers)
2007: G Ben Grubbs (Ravens)
2006: C Nick Mangold (Jets)
2005: CB Marlin Jackson (Colts)
2004: WR Michael Jenkins (Falcons)
2003: LB Nick Barnett (Packers)
Quick-hit thoughts: The Patriots have owned the pick just once in their history, and it was a forgettable selection -- cornerback Chris Canty (1997). In 2012, we liked the idea of Harrison Smith as a possible Patriots target. The Patriots probably won't be going with a receiver, but Patterson and Nicks show that immediate impact is a possibility in that spot. Of all the picks in recent years, if the Patriots could duplicate one this year it would probably be Mangold.