Pats can trade down because they already have the big impact stud players and they trade down from a spot in the 20s which isn't that far into the second round. They got lucky and got Brady so didn't need to draft a QB high but they are paying Brady a ton of money. Moss and Welker have fairly high contracts, Mayo is a top 10 pick,Wilfork is due some money,Adalius Thomas has a big contract, and everyone else is cheaper because the Pats were winning so they had later picks in the draft. Lions don't have the luxury of winning so they have to pick top 10 but we still are able to spend when we want to. For instance we took a big cap hit on the Redding trade and pay Peterson like 7 million, signed Foote and signed whoever else we could get to want to play here. They weren't huge contracts but we signed alot of people last offseason. Some have worked out, but some have not mainly the secondary of Buchanon,Henry and King who were all cheap lower tier free agents.
Plus its not like the Pats go out and spend a ton of money in free agency anyway. Thats the only benefit of picking more guys in Round 2 for cheaper, you have a ton of cap space which the Pats don't use except for the one year for Thomas,Moss and Welker. Those guys wanted to play for the Pats, the Pats had to use picks to get them. Should have been more picks for Moss IMO but the Raiders are idiots.