The New England Patriots elected to dip out of the first round of the 2020 draft and sent the No. 23 overall selection to the Los Angeles Chargers. Bill Belichick was able to get back into the second round with this move, while also picking up an additional third rounder. Meanwhile, the Chargers continued to add to their defense by taking linebacker Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma with the 23rd pick.
Specifically, Los Angeles traded the No. 37th overall pick and No. 71 for No. 23. According to the Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the Patriots 23rd selection had a value of 760 points. The Chargers' 37th (530 points) and 71st (235) picks total out to 765 points. Overall, that's a pretty even swap, but when you factor in the player that L.A. acquired, it does lean in the Chargers' favor currently.
Here's how we see the deal shaking out:
Patriots trade grade: C+
This is obviously tough to really determine until after the Patriots make their picks in the second and third round, but New England should be in the market for blue chip, first-round players at this point in time. After losing Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Jamie Collins in free agency, the club should be in the market to add a linebacker they can start long-term. They were able to get on the clock with two highly touted linebacker prospects on the board in Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray and LSU's Patrick Queen. They elected to punt on taking one of those prospects there and ultimately lost out on Murray, who the Chargers selected.
The Patriots are in desperate need for speed on defense and Murray would have given them just that as he's a strong off-the-edge type of linebacker who is rather explosive from end-to-end. He's said to be of high character which should have only made his Patriots connects that much stronger. In the end, however, New England elected to fill the gap they had in the second round after they traded their lone selection away for receiver Mohamed Sanu around the deadline last year.
With this second rounder and additional third, the Patriots will have tremendous flexibility on Day 2 and it'll be interesting to see if they can improve their grade with the players they bring in.
Chargers trade grade: B+
Kenneth Murray is yet another playmaker that the Chargers are adding to their defense and fills a big need at the middle linebacker spot. They did give up some serious capital to get him, but Los Angeles is getting a speedy linebacker to pair with pass rushers like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Murray, who combined for a total of 257 tackles over his final two collegiate seasons, isn't known for being particularly strong in coverage, but he should add a ton of athleticism to this unit. Los Angeles is getting a really nice player, in my estimation, but the price tag is the only thing that keeps it from getting in the A range.