I Think Belichick Was Trying to Tell Us He's Ready to Make Draft Deals in a Big Way

Bill Belichick held his annual pre-draft press availability this morning. With the emphasis on the word “draft” as he made it clear in the nicest way a Sith Lord can that any questions about trading Jimmy Garoppolo or sitting Malcolm Butler or Gronk’s SnapFace game would be answered with lightning bolts from his fingertips.

It was what you would expect it was. He opened with a joke about checking the schedule and finding there are no games until September, which brought the house down. He talked about the process of setting up the team’s draft board. Used the same tone of disgust to describe “drafting for need” that a 4-year-old uses to describe vegetables. And took a hard pass at a question about how many years he thinks Tom Brady has left.

The one thing he said that you can read something into was his final remarks. When he gave one of those answers to a question nobody asked, which tells you he came into this with the intention of getting something on the record.

Q: Have you noticed any changes in the draft now that the first round is kind of its own separate entity?

BB: Well, it’s just the reset process, so really at the end of Day One you just reset your board as if this is the first round. The players that are gone, are gone. …

I’d say relative to that, which is a good question, relative to that is the draft chart. … I’d say the draft chart has been modified a little bit based on the change in that. One of the problems with the draft chart, if we all have our own draft charts, which is fine, sometimes it’s hard to make a trade because, ‘Well, my draft chart says this. Well, your draft chart says that,’ whereas if we all use the same chart, we all agree on basic value. Then it’s a lot easier to get what we call, I’d say, a fair trade, which I’d say over the last few years the majority of the trades that we’ve studied have been within a few percentage points one way or the other of being the correct value for the trade. In some cases in later rounds, sometimes those get a little bit skewed just because you have fewer picks. So if you don’t have many picks to work with then you can only use the ones that you have, but a lot of times in the earlier round picks, a sixth round choice will get thrown in or given back or something like that to sort of balance out the value of the trade. I’d say, overall, in the last couple of years, as we’ve studied the trade values, they’ve been pretty consistent with what our evaluations show on the trade chart, which I think is what the majority of the teams use.

To review:
Q: Hey Bill, has having the first round be on a separate day affected how to do things?
BB: Thank you for asking me about the Draft Value Chart. I will now give you a lengthy and detailed answer about the Draft Value Chart and how teams we are talking to about the value of our picks assess the value of our picks and how we assess the value of their picks during our lengthy discussions about trading our picks.

As a refresher, here is the currently accepted Draft Value Chart:

Draft Value Chart

And the Patriots currently hold the following picks in just the top 100:
–23 (760 points)
–31 (600)
–43 (470)
–63 (276)
–95 (120)

… in the hands of the most active, motivated buyer/seller in the league. Who routinely swings more deals every draft than Wayne Brady. And who just went out of his way to let it be known that a major part of his mindset going into this draft is how he can get the rest of the league to match up their picks to his. And who for the first time in years has the draft capital to move merchandise.

I’m too attractive to be good at STEM, but if my calculator is correct, his two firsts (1360 points) can get him into the Top 10. Or he could keep one, combine 23 and 43 (1230 points) and get up to the 12th spot. Or play it really conservatively, keep his first and package his second pick and the 63rd (876 points) and crack the top 20. Just so long as the lesser mortals on the other end of the phone operate off a similar chart.

The point being that he just went way out of his way to tip us off that this is where his head is at this year. And after not having a first rounder in the last couple of drafts, Belichick is getting proactively super aggressive for this one. Which just turned it into Nerdvana for Patriots Draft Geeks worldwide. He is going to own these four days and they cannot come soon enough.

Also, this can’t possibly be my hair. Using a grey filter like this is dirty pool: