(Advance warning: bear with me on a convoluted concept and a rough attempt to sort out splintered, fractional trades...) Heading into the 2007 draft, many of us felt it was unusually weak for Patriots-type players. The Patriots apparently felt so too, aggressively trading out of the draft. How much different is one draft from another, really? Let's take a look at the picks they did and didn't use in 2007, and compare. 2007 Picks available heading into the free agency period, by round: 1, 1 2 3 4, 4 5 6, 6, 6 7, 7 Wow. Of those, they actually drafted: 1, 4, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7 -- 8 players (after trades). Of those 8, only 1 (Brandon Meriweather) remains on the roster a year later. They traded away: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 -- 5 picks. (The difference between the picks used vs. traded in 2007 is 5, 6, 6, 6, 7 vs. 2 & 3...but wait, the trades also netted them an extra #2 for 2009! So it's even in terms of draft "capital" spent both ways.) Of the resulting players, the following remain on the roster: Jerod Mayo Shawn Crable Wes Welker Matthew Slater Randy Moss Given how poorly the picks they did exercise in 2007 turned out, is there any chance that using the other half would have yielded the same bonanza they got through trades? In retrospect, 2007 looks like brilliant management of a truly crappy draft.