Following the New Orleans Saints’ NFC Wild Card loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots now know where they will be pick in April’s 2020 NFL Draft.
The Patriots finished the regular season with a 12-4 record and their 11th consecutive AFC East title. However, a Week 17 loss to division rival Miami forced the defending Super Bowl champions into their first AFC Wild Card appearance since 2009. Despite being tied for the conference’s second-best record, the Patriots struggled to put up points in 2019, and on Saturday night, New England mustered only 13 points in a disappointing home loss to the Tennessee Titans.
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As a result, the Patriots have set themselves up for the franchise’s highest original first-round draft pick since 2006. According to NESN beat writer Zack Cox, New England is now slated to pick 23rd overall.
As Cox noted, the Patriots front office selected RB Laurence Maroney with the 21st overall pick back in 2006. Since then New England has made four selections from the 23rd spot or earlier – LB Jerod Mayo (10th, 2008), OT Nate Solder (17th, 2010), DE Chandler Jones (21st, 2012), and OT Isaiah Wynn (23rd, 2018) – but all have come via trade.
How Many Draft Picks Does New England Have?
As it stands now, New England currently holds eight picks in the 2020 NDL Draft, although half of the selections will come in the final two rounds.
Round 1 (No. 23 overall)
However, the Patriots are expected to receive a boost through the league’s compensatory pick system as a result of the offseason losses of DE Trey Flowers and OT Trent Brown. Per OverTheCap.com, New England is the only team projected to receive multiple third-round compensatory picks – the highest any team can earn. Bill Belichick’s squad is also in line for two additional sixth-round choices in 2020.
The team is also awaiting the NFL’s decision on a penalty for their game-day videotaping incident in Cleveland back on December 8. An official ruling is now expected to come within the next two weeks. Many analysts have speculated that the Patriots are most likely to receive a hefty fine and could potentially be docked a draft pick.
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