When the New England Patriots traded away backup and potential ‘quarterback of the future’ Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, there were questions on both sides.
Could Garoppolo, who was relatively untested, be a legitimate starting quarterback? Did the Patriots get robbed by only getting one second-round selection for Garoppolo?
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Even more ironic, because Garoppolo played so well upon arriving in San Francisco, the value of the second-round draft choice fell to the 43rd pick in 2018. The 49ers had seemingly won the trade.
But who are we kidding, New England does more dealing on draft day than a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas. And with that 43rd selection, the Patriots have devised a chain of trades that brought in five players and counting.
Meanwhile, Garoppolo missed almost the entire 2018 season, a year in which 41-year-old Tom Brady won another Super Bowl title. Who did the 49ers miss out on to acquire Garoppolo?
NOTE: This strictly looks at picks New England acquired, not originally owned.
2018 Pick #43 – Kerryon Johnson
It was so obvious the Patriots would trade this pick after acquiring a running back and offensive tackle in the first round. They dealt it to Detroit for picks 51 and 117 that year. Johnson had a decent rookie year, rushing for 641 yards and three touchdowns along with 213 receiving yards and another score. He’s poised for a breakout second season.
2018 Pick #51 – Anthony Miller
The Patriots flipped this selection to another NFC North team, the Chicago Bears, for the former Memphis receiver. He had 423 receiving yards and seven touchdowns for the Bears as a rookie after his All-American campaign in 2017 to finish college. In exchange, the Patriots got the 105th pick a 2019 second-round pick.
2018 Pick #56 – Duke Dawson
The Patriots used pick 117 and their own 63rd pick to trade up for Dawson. A corner with a promising upside, injury cost him his rookie season and he’s in danger of being cut this preseason.
2018 Pick #105 – Antonio Callaway
New England again multiplied its selection by giving up pick 105 for 114 and 178. But the Browns got a hold of it to draft the ever-talented Antonio Callaway who had a breakout rookie year with 586 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
2018 Pick #114 – Da’Shawn Hand
The Patriots continue to profit, passing this pick to the Lions for a 2019 third-round choice. Hand made 27 tackles as a rookie including three sacks and two forced fumbles.
2018 Pick #117 – Jordan Whitehead
The pick New England used to draft Dawson, they probably should have just kept this one. Whitehead had 76 tackles as a rookie safety for the Buccaneers.
2018 Pick #178 – Christian Sam
New England used this selection on a linebacker to round out their profit in the 2018 draft. Sam showed promise in the preseason but was added to the IR after the preseason. He is struggling to make the roster currently and is likely to be released.
2019 Pick #45 – Joejuan Williams
New England used its second-round pick from the Bears along with its own 101st pick to trade up for Williams. As a 6-foot-4 corner who led SEC cornerbacks in just about every statistical category during the 2018 season, it’s probably the most talented player the Patriots got for Garoppolo.
2019 Pick #56 – Mecole Hardman
New England dealt those picks to the Chiefs, who used 56 to draft Mecole Hardman out of Georgia. Hardman scored 13 touchdowns in the last two seasons for the Bulldogs while reeling in 73 catches.
2019 Pick #73 – David Montgomery
Another deal with the Bears, this time combining picks 73 and 205 for 87, 162, and a 2020 fourth-round pick. Montgomery is set to be a key contributor in the Bears offense as a rookie and is expected to be one of the top young backs in the NFL.
2019 Pick #87 – Damien Harris
New England didn’t miss out by much with rookie running backs, taking Alabama product Damien Harris 14 selections after Montgomery. If it’s any indication through one preseason game, Harris is a bona fide receiving threat out of the backfield and absorbs opposing hits.
2019 Pick #159 – Byron Cowart
The Patriots traded up with their acquired pick 162 along with their own pick 239 to get the former top high school player in the nation. He is looking to revive his career in New England and has shocked coaches with his interior pass-rushing ability.
2019 Pick #162 – Cameron Smith
With that traded pick, the Minnesota Vikings took Smith, a linebacker out of USC. He had a combined 157 tackles over two seasons with the Trojans.
STILL LEFT: 2020 Chicago Bears Fourth Round Pick