That’s a pretty stark contrast at the outside linebacker position between the two teams, and it’s interesting to remember that Clay Matthews was taken with a pick (26th overall) that New England traded to Green Bay back in April 2009. So was it worth it for the Patriots?
Let’s take a look. The deal was the Patriots’ first-round (26th) and fifth-round (162nd) picks — acquired in a trade that allowed Baltimore to move up to 23rd to select Michael Oher — for a second-round pick (41st), and two third-rounders (73rd, 83rd). The Patriots flipped the third-rounder to Jacksonville for a seventh-rounder (232nd overall) and a 2010 second-rounder (44th overall). The Patriots then packaged the 2010 second-rounder with a sixth-round pick (190th overall) to move up to 42nd overall.
Dizzy? I don’t blame you. Here’s the final tally …
Players taken by Patriots: CB Darius Butler (2009, 41st pick), WR Brandon Tate (2009, 83rd pick), WR Julian Edelman (232nd pick), TE Rob Gronkowski (42nd overall)
Players taken in slots surrendered: OLB Clay Matthews (Packers 2009, 26th pick), OT Jamon Meredith (Packers 2009, 162nd pick), LB Travis Goethel (Raiders 2010, 190th pick)
Meredith didn’t make the Packers out of camp in 2009. Goethel did make the Raiders, but hasn’t dressed for a game yet (though he has been nicked up.)
So which group do you guys take? For me, personally, it’s hard to look past the presence of a potential superstar pass rusher, since they’re so valuable and hard to find, but I can understand why you might like the depth of the Patriots group of four.