Aggressive Patriots upgrade defense

In recent years, the New England Patriots draft strategy has been to usually trade down in or out of round one to accumulate either more picks in the draft or picks in future years.

<p> But on Thursday night, Bill Belichick and the front office decided to reverse course. They traded up from 27 to 21 with Cincinnati to grab Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, and then dealt with Denver to go from 31 to 25 in order to take Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower.

According to the Boston Herald, it was part of an aggressive approach designed to improve a saggy New England defense that finished next to last overall in 2011.

All the wheeling and dealing has left New England with just two more picks - both in today's second round, Nos. 48 and 62. They have no picks left in rounds three through seven - barring, of course, more wheeling and dealing.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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