Patriots trade down in 2nd like evil geniuses, Lions trade up for RB Kerryon Johnson

< Trade #18.9: OAK & TEN WAS & SFO: Trade #18.11 >

Lions left with
No. 43 – RB Kerryon Johnson

Patriots left with
No. 51 – Traded No. 51 for No. 105 (later traded) and and a 2019 2nd Rd. pick
No. 117 – Traded No. 117 and No. 63 for No. 56 (CB Duke Dawson)


Dictator’s Decree: “There is really no difference between No. 43 and No. 51, and an extra 4th round pick (No. 117) for the Patriots could yield a player who turns into quality depth. But kudos to the Lions for finding Kerryon Johnson, a very promising player. This trade may be a win-win.” – March 2019


The Patriots flip draft picks like Olympic gymnasts flip, well, flips. Even for a certified genius like your benevolent dictator, unwinding all of New England’s draft day transactions can be like watching Murder on the Orient Express come together at the end. But the Patriots overall strategy is right in line with what we espouse here at TDI. They moved down just eight spots in the second round from No. 43 to No. 51 and picked up an additional fourth round pick (No. 117) in the process. If you trust your scouts and GM to nail No. 43, you should trust them to nail No. 51 as well! Gaining additional fourth round picks to move back a few spots is solid strategy as rotational players can still be found on dirt-cheap, four-year contracts in the fourth. The Patriots also practiced delayed gratification trading back yet again to turn a mid-second round pick in 2018 (No. 43) into two picks in 2019 – one in the second round and another in the third. Delayed gratification is a great strategy for a veteran team like New England.

The Patriots strategy pleases your dictator, but then again I tend to identify with evil geniuses like Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, though I have never been to an Orlando spa.

Trade #18.10 – Assets Exchanged
Lions receive: No. 43 (2nd Rd.)
Patriots receive: No. 51 (2nd Rd.), No. 117 (4th Rd.)

Trade #18.10 – Players Drafted & Transactions


See Trade #18.14 – Patriots trade No. 51 (2nd Rd) for No. 105 (4th Rd., later traded) and a 2019 2nd Rd. pick.

See Trade #18.15 – Patriots trade No. 117 (4th Rd.) & No. 63 (2nd Rd.) for No. 56 (2nd Rd, CB Duke Dawson).

2018 Year-End Summary
In terms of 2018 production alone, the Lions clearly won this trade after one year. Kerryon Johnson looks to be the real deal and finished the year ranked as PFF’s No. 13 HB.

Now, as ordered by your dictator, pause for a moment and appreciate exactly what the Patriots did when you unwind all of these transactions. They started with No. 43 and left with 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2019, took a sixth round flier on LB Christian Sam at No. 178, and then used the extra fourth round pick (No. 117) they acquired to pair with a different second round pick to move up from No. 63 to No. 56 to draft CB Duke Dawson. Both Sam and Dawson spent the entire 2018 season on injured reserve and the Patriots still won the stinking Super Bowl! Heading into 2019 the Pats now have extra picks in the 2nd and 3rd as they ultimately see what they have in Dawson and Sam. Kudos, you evil geniuses in New England. You have your dictator’s respect.

Notes on statistics:
1. Approximate Value(“AV”) and Snap Counts (“Snap”) per Football Reference.
2. Snap Counts only list offensive and defensive snaps. Special teams snaps are excluded.

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