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Patriots head into NFL Draft with 5 picks; fewest in franchise history

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

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Bill Belichick and the Patriots will go into the draft with five picks, their fewest in franchise history. (USATSI)

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is notorious for wheeling and dealing on draft day. Since taking over as New England's coach in January 2000, Belichick has orchestrated 50 draft-day trades, including 25 since 2008.

However, Belichick may have a tough time working his magic during the 2013 NFL Draft because the Patriots don't have a lot of trade ammo. New England will head into this year's draft day with only five picks, the fewest in franchise history. The Patriots have one pick in the first (29th overall), second and third rounds and two picks in the seventh round.

Before this year, the fewest picks the Patriots had ever made in a draft was six in 2002. However, it should be noted that New England actually went into the 2002 draft with nine selections, but traded three away to move up in the draft.

In Belichick's 13 drafts with New England, the only time the Patriots didn't make a trade came in 2004.

So how did the Patriots end up with only five picks in this year's draft? By making some questionable trades they're probably regretting right now.

The Patriots sent their fourth-round pick to Tampa Bay in November as part of a deal that brought them cornerback Aqib Talib. The Patriots don't have a fifth-round pick because they traded it to Washington before the 2011 season in exchange for Albert Haynesworth, who lasted four months with the team.

The Patriots don't have a sixth-round pick because they sent that to Cincinnati in exchange for Chad Johnson on the same day -- July 28, 2011 -- they traded for Haynesworth. The Bengals also got a 2012 fifth-round pick in the deal that Cincinnati turned into wide receiver Marvin Jones.

With only five picks, what might the Patriots do in the draft?

In the first round, our CBSSports.com draft experts see New England taking anyone from Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant to Purdue defensive tackle Kewann Short to Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore. The Patriots could also stand to beef up the depth at wide receiver.

Of course, Belichick loves draft picks -- and trades -- so it wouldn't be surprising at all to see the savvy veteran trade out of the first round or just trade down in exchange for more picks on draft day.

Keep your eye on everything NFL by following John Breech on Twitter @JohnBreech.

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