By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots had a disappointingly early playoff exit in the 2019 season, their quickest defeat since 2009. But the silver lining is that Bill Belichick won't be nearly as far behind in his draft prep as he usually is, and the Pats' own pick will be the highest since their last Wild Card loss.
After the Saints' defeat at the hands of the Vikings on Sunday, the Patriots are officially locked in to the 23rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which takes place April 23-25 in Paradise, Nev. They also had pick No. 23 in the 2018 draft, but it was acquired from the Rams for wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
This will be the highest New England had their own pick as high as 23 since 2010, when they sat at No. 22. They made multiple trades to move down to No. 27, where they selected Devin McCourty.
The Patriots unfortunately traded away their second-round pick to the Falcons for receiver Mohamed Sanu. They also could face a potential loss or reduction of a lower draft pick as possible punishment for their videotaping violation with the Bengals.
In addition, the Patriots are projected to receive four compensatory selections: third-rounders for the departures of defensive end Trey Flowers and tackle Trent Brown, and two sixth-rounders for the losses of receiver/returner Cordarrelle Patterson and defensive tackle Malcom Brown. And they've also acquired several low picks via trades in recent drafts.
Here are OverTheCap.com's projected picks for the Patriots:
Round 1 (No. 23)
Round 3 (No. 87)
Round 3 (No. 97) (compensatory pick)
Round 3 (No. 99) (compensatory pick)
Round 4 (No. 122) (via Chicago)
Round 6 (No. 195) (via Atlanta)
Round 6 (No. 205) (via Minnesota)
Round 6 (No. 212) (compensatory pick)
Round 6 (No. 214) (compensatory pick)
Round 7 (No. 230) (via Atlanta)
Round 7 (No. 235) (via Philadelphia)
Round 7 (No. 242) (via Seattle)
Keep checking back here in the coming months for more NFL Draft coverage as it relates to the Patriots.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].