BOSTON (CBS) — Friday night was a busy evening for the New England Patriots. In addition to drafting four new players in Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick and company also pulled off four trades to move up and down the draft board.
The Patriots were so busy that they traded away the 101st overall pick, and then re-acquired it before the night was over. Talk about a true Belichickian move.
Here’s a quick rundown of New England’s moves on Friday night.
Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
Drafted 2nd Round, 45th Overall
The Patriots really like this kid because they traded away two picks to move up 11 spots and draft him. Williams is a big bodied cornerback at 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, giving the Patriots some considerable size at the position. He’ll get to develop behind Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson, but could find himself on bigger receivers and tight ends depending on New England’s gameplan in a given week.
Williams has top-corner potential, but he may turn into a safety at some point, much like Devin McCourty after he started his career at corner. The 21-year-old certainly sounds like the ideal Patriots player, admitting that he’s a film junkie and that he wants to be a coach when his playing days are over.
Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan
Drafted 3rd Round, 77th Overall
This kid is going to be fun to watch — and listen to. He is disruptive along the defensive line, racking up 13.5 sacks in his final two years at Michigan and 18.5 overall in his three full seasons on their defense. He’s also got a big personality, which should help in the locker room with Rob Gronkowski no longer around to be their goofball.
Speaking of Gronk, Winovich also played some tight end and fullback at Michigan. He won’t be going out for too many passes, though he said he’d be up to the challenge if asked, but we could see him in certain goal-line situations, much like Mike Vrabel used to serve when he was catching key touchdowns in the early 2000s.
Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
Drafted 3rd Round, 87th Overall
The Patriot didn’t necessarily need another running back, but it’s clear that Bill Belichick is putting an emphasis on the position. Harris was a team captain under Nick Saban at Alabama and scored 23 touchdowns on the ground over his four years with the Crimson Tide. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield and contribute on special teams, so yo can understand why Belichick likes the kid so much.
Harris will likely serve as Sony Michel’s backup on early downs, allowing the Patriots to limit Michel’s touches throughout the regular season.
Yodny Cajuste, LT, West Virginia
Drafted 3rd Round 101st Overall
The Patriots needed another offensive tackle and they got a big one in the 6-foot-4, 312-pound Yodny Cajuste. He is a prime candidate to be New England’s swing tackle next season, with experience at both left and right tackle. He has a bit of an injury history, but he’s another young lineman that Dante Scarnecchia can work his magic on.
Get out your abacus, because we’re about the throw a lot of numbers your way.
– First up, the Patriots traded up to land Williams. They sent the 56th pick (later acquired by the Chiefs to draft receiver Mecole Hardman) and the 101st overall pick to L.A. so they could draft Williams at No. 45.
– The Patriots sent the No. 64 pick to Seattle (used on wide receiver DK Metcalf) and received picks No. 77 (Winovich) and No. 118 in return.
– Before they drafted Winovich, the Patriots traded the No. 73 pick to the Chicago Bears (used to pick running back David Montgomery) along with the 205th overall selection. In return, they received the 87th overall pick (used on Harris), the 162nd overall pick and a 2020 fourth-round selection.
– The Patriots finished their trade frenzy by sending the 97th overall pick (OT Bobby Evans) and pick No. 162 to the Rams, getting back that 101st overall pick (used on Cajuste), and the 133rd overall pick.
With all of those moves, the Patriots now have seven picks to work with on Saturday:
4th Round, No. 118
4th Round, No. 133
4th Round, No. 134
7th Round, No. 239
7th Round, No. 243
7th Round, No. 246
7th Round, No. 252
There’s a real good chance they’ll be swinging some more trades, likely trying to get into the fifth and sixth rounds. The Patriots still have some pressing needs, such as tight end, quarterback and safety, and will be looking to address those areas on Saturday.