Patriots-Broncos Trade: Breaking Down the Specifics of the Deal

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 26, 2012

Dont'a Hightower is a Patriot.
Dont'a Hightower is a Patriot.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

To highlight just how strange this draft has been, the New England Patriots have now traded up twice. The Denver Broncos, a team that many had trading down if Dre Kirkpatrick didn't fall to No. 25, are indeed trading down. The Patriots sent their fourth-round pick (126) to Denver to move up from 31 to 25 to take Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower.



Denver: The Broncos were rumored to have many of the defensive tackles available at No. 25 on a similar level. No running backs have been taken after Trent Richardson. The Broncos will have most, if not all of their targets, there at 31. 

New England: Give credit to Bill Belichick. He can change his philosophy when the situation calls for it. The team needed defense in the worst way, and they were on the outside looking in of the blue chip talent tier. The hoodie did what was necessary to upgrade the defense with two outstanding talents.



Brandon Spikes: Spikes is a similar player to Hightower, and you have to assume that Spikes will lose some snaps to Hightower.

Rob Ninkovich: A scrappy player who worked his way into the starting lineup after bouncing around the league, Ninkovich goes back to being a reserve.

Courtney Upshaw, Nick Perry: The Patriots were going to take an edge rusher at 27 or 31, it seems almost certain with Mark Anderson gone and Andre Carter still a free agent. Even with Chandler Jones in tow, they didn't have a true speed rush. Now with the Patriots out of the last six picks of the first, both could fall out of the first round.