The New England Patriots hold three of the top 33 picks in the 2011 NFL draft which means we can expect some day one trades. The Patriots under Bill Belichick are traditionally the most active trading team on draft day so keep an eye on the 17th, 28th and 33rd picks in the draft.
Despite their 14 wins last season, the Patriots are in an excellent position in this draft. In fact, Mike Lombardi of NFL.com predicts it will be the 28th and 33rd pick that draws the most attention on the trade market.
My second prediction is that the New England Patriots will have many teams vying for their first pick in the second round (No. 33 overall), but their most coveted pick will be the 28th pick overall. In fact, there will be so many teams that want to acquire that 28th overall pick that the value of the pick will far exceed the old chart value. The 28th pick will be the auction pick, because many teams won't want to leave Radio City on Thursday night without the player it deems the key to its draft.
Two things to remember.
First, teams CAN trade picks and future picks in this draft. Trading of players is not allowed due to the lockout but draft picks are tradable assets.
Second, the 33rd pick is the first pick of the second day with the new format implemented last year. This means that anybody who wishes to get the top remaining player on day two will probably need to call the Patriots. I would argue that the 33rd pick will be the most coveted but obviously Lombardi disagrees.
However it shakes out, the Patriots are sitting in an enviable position.