Recently Mike Reiss ranked the top trades in New England Patriots history. I've been thinking about his ranking off and on ever since reading the article. Let me first say that I think Reiss is top shelf and I think he did a fine job with his ranking but here's my Top 5 ranking.
1. Trading 2007 1st round pick (28th overall) to 49ers for 2008 1st round pick (which Patriots used to draft LB Jerod Mayo) and a 4th round pick (which Pats later traded to get Randy Moss). 49ers used Patriots 2007 pick to draft tackle Joe Staley.
2. Trading 4th round pick to Raiders in exchange for Randy Moss. Reiss doesn't treat this as a separate transaction but it was. In fact you could easily make this the top trade in Patriots history and I wouldn't argue.
3. Trading 2004 2nd round pick to Cincinnati for Corey Dillion. I rank Dillion's acquisition higher than acquiring Wes Welker for two reasons - Corey Dillion was a major part of a Super Bowl winning team and Dillion also proved a player with baggage elsewhere could play in New England in part paving the way for Randy Moss.
4. Acquiring Wes Welker from the Dolphins for a 2nd and 7th round picks.
5. Getting Aqib Talib and a 7th round pick from Tampa for a 4th round pick. Reiss has this transaction lower on his list than swapping picks with Baltimore which led to the Pats getting Vince Wilfork and the trade that brought in Ted Washington. I think the Talib trade was more of a steal than those deals or maybe Reiss just has a thing for huge nose tackles.
A trade that Reiss doesn't mention and which I'm not sure would be top 10 anyway was trading Randy Moss to the Vikings for a 3rd round pick which the team used to draft backup QB Ryan Mallet in the 2011 draft. Everything about Randy Moss in New England was a steal for the team.