Patriots, Rams partner for three draft-day trades


An historic weekend in football history came to a close on Saturday afternoon when the Arizona Cardinals chose Mr. Irrelevant at No. 254 in the 2019 NFL Draft.

But in between those 254 selections, there were a record 39 trades, the most swaps in a single draft in the common draft era, per NFL Research.

The two clubs leading the transaction charge are quite familiar with one another. The Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots engaged in three separate pick-swap draft-day trades.

The Super Bowl LIII counterparts first executed a trade early on Day 2 when Los Angeles sent the No. 45 pick to New England in exchange for the Nos. 56 and 101 selections. The Patriots took cornerback Joejuan Williams out of Vanderbilt.

Los Angeles traded away both of those picks, including the No. 101 selection back to New England(!). The Rams did that to move up four spots to draft Oklahoma tackle Bobby Evans. The Patriots picked West Virginia tackle Yodny Cajuste at No. 101 and Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham at No. 133 with picks acquired in the trade.

The Rams weren't done. With the No. 162 pick acquired in the second swap, Los Angeles traded up in the fifth round with New England to select Washington defensive tackle Greg Gaines (No. 134) and Penn State defensive back Nick Scott (No. 243). The Patriots traded away their two picks from that trade because of course.

New England engaged in, by itself, six separate draft-day trades, acquiring six players in the process (Williams, Alabama RB Damien Harris, Cajuste, Stidham, Maryland defensive end Byron Cowart, Stanford punter Jake Bailey). The Rams made six trades for six players, as well (Michigan defensive back David Long, Washington safety Taylor Rapp, Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, Evans, Gaines, Scott.)

All this is to say that Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Rams coach Sean McVay, very recently combatants in a low-scoring strategic Super Bowl, have struck up quite a professional relationship with each other.

When McVay told Belichick ahead that Super Bowl LIII that the Hoodie was "what's right about coaching," perhaps he left out that Belichick is what's right about pick swaps as well.