In drafting Penn State center/guard Rich Ohrnberger with the 123rd overall selection – a pick acquired in multiple trades – the Patriots essentially reallocated their assets.
It started with the Patriots trading veteran cornerback Ellis Hobbs to the Philadelphia Eagles for two fifth-round draft choices (137, 141).
The Patriots then turned around and traded those picks (137, 141) to Baltimore for a fourth-round pick (123) and sixth-rounder (198).
Ohrnberger, a player who took a pre-draft visit to Gillette Stadium, adds youth to the interior of the offensive line and provides a fallback, longer-term option with starting guards Logan Mankins (left) and Stephen Neal (right) entering the final year of their contracts.
The Patriots’ top backups at center/guard – Russ Hochstein and Billy Yates – also have contracts expiring after the 2009 season.
With the Patriots having adding to the cornerback spot over the last two years in the draft with Darius Butler, Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite – in addition to signing free agents Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden this year – they must have felt well stocked at that spot in the short- and long-term.
So they dealt Hobbs, with the idea of hopefully addressing a longer-term need elsewhere – on the interior of the offensive line.