BOSTON (CBS) -- The NFL Draft, as they say, is largely a crapshoot. With this year in particular, the talent level from about picks 20 through 50 was considered to be about the same.
Considering all of that, it was certainly no surprise that the Patriots traded down from their spot at No. 21 on Thursday night in the first round of this year's draft. They eventually picked at No. 29, throwing a curveball by selecting guard Cole Strange out of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
We can't, obviously, know how his career will pan out on this night. Likewise, we won't know what kind of careers the players drafted from No. 21 through No. 28 will have at this moment in time.
But for the sake of record-keeping -- as this was a notable trade -- here are those players who theoretically could have been selected by the Patriots if they had stayed at No. 21.
21. Trent McDuffie, CB, Chiefs
22. Quay Walker, LB, Packers
23. Kaiir Elam, CB, Bills
24. Tyler Smith, OT, Cowboys
25. Tyler Linderbaum, C, Ravens
26. Jermaine Johnson, DE, Jets
27. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
28. Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
With Strange playing offensive line, he won't exactly be putting up statistics to compare to some of those players. Yet if he ends up being a dependable, long-term starter for the Patriots, he'll likely eliminate the need for any such comparisons over the next several years. If he doesn't do that while one or several of those players become stars, then the pick is sure to be looked at with regret in New England.
As of now ... nobody knows anything about anyone. That's what happens on draft night.
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