The Patriots made several recent trades involving draft picks for veteran players, and now it's time to pay the bill. New England will lose three picks in this draft in the middle rounds.
New England shipped its 2013 fourth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for cornerback Aqib Talib. That trade paid immediate dividends. Talib was New England’s best cover corner in the second half of the season and contributed to the Patriots' playoff run.
But the other two trades didn't go as well. The Patriots shipped their fifth-round pick to the Washington Redskins for former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He was a major bust in New England and was released after six games. Haynesworth is still out of football.
New England also shipped its sixth-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for receiver Chad Johnson. He lasted one unproductive year with the Patriots and was released. Johnson also didn’t play in the NFL last season.
The Patriots have just four picks in this year's draft to improve the team. New England owns its first-, second- and third-round pick, as well as a seventh-round pick.