FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The wheeling-and-dealing New England Patriots remade their draft with three trades and gave a new look to their defense of the future.

Coach Bill Belichick’s day of shuffling brought them safety Patrick Chung of Oregon, defensive tackle Ron Brace of Boston College and cornerback Darius Butler of Connecticut with three of the top 41 picks on Saturday. Every one of those choices was obtained in a trade.

“We had an interesting day today,” Belichick said with a smirk. “I wouldn’t rule out any movement (Sunday) either.”

For now, New England has seven picks in Sunday’s final five rounds of the draft.

The Patriots traded out of the first round then took the hard-hitting Chung with the second pick of the second round, the 34th overall. That’s the one they obtained from the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel on Feb. 28.

There was a widespread feeling that the trade was one-sided in favor of the Chiefs. And Chung was not widely expected to be taken as high as he was. But he adds youth to an already young pair of starting safeties – 2007 first-round pick Brandon Meriweather and 2005 fourth-rounder James Sanders.

Rodney Harrison, a 15-year veteran safety, missed most of last season with a torn right thigh muscle and is a free agent.

Chung said his top assets are “tackling and leadership,” talents that Harrison is known for.

He also said staying a fourth season at Oregon, where he had nine interceptions in his career, “helped me a lot. Obviously, it did. Now it’s time to go to work.”

Oregon played a complex defense and Chung “really kind of helped coordinate the secondary,” Belichick said.

Butler gives the Patriots depth with cornerbacks Ellis Hobbs, a starter, and Leigh Bodden entering the final year of their contracts. New England drafted Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite at that position last year and signed free agent Shawn Springs, a 12-year veteran, in the offseason.

Brace adds youth to a defensive line that continues to play well with veteran starters – 29-year-old Richard Seymour, 28-year-old Ty Warren and 27-year-old Vince Wilfork. Jarvis Green, 30, also plays quite a bit on the line. But recent additions haven’t been able to break into the top four.

The Patriots finally turned to offense with their last choice Saturday, drafting tackle Sebsatian Vollmer of Houston with the 58th pick. Vollmer, a native of Germany who moved to the United States in 2004, sat out that year as a redshirt and missed the 2006 season with a back injury.

“He’s played quite a bit,” Belichick said. “He’s not like Steve Neal,” the Patriots starting offensive guard who wrestled but did not play football at California State-Bakersfield when the Patriots signed him as a free agent in 2001.

Belichick decided he could get the players he wanted without a first-round pick so he went to work trying to trade. And he succeeded – three times – in a draft with so much depth that he went from six to eight picks in the first three rounds.

He also saved the cost of signing a first-round pick.

Belichick began the day with three of the top 47 choices and ended with three of the first 41. He still had the same number of choices in the seven rounds of the draft, 11, that he began with.

First, he sent the 23rd pick to the Baltimore Ravens for the 26th in the first round and the 26th in the fifth. He didn’t have those for long, peddling both of them to the Green Bay Packers for the ninth in the second round and the ninth and 19th in the third.

Finally, he shipped the 15th of the second round, 24th of the fourth and 26th of the sixth to the Oakland Raiders for the 41st, giving him the chance to pick Butler.

The UConn cornerback is very fast and covers well. He had 10 interceptions, all in his first three seasons. As a senior, he also was the Huskies’ full-time kickoff returner and caught nine passes for one touchdown.

Brace is considered a better run stopper than pass rusher and was BC’s second-best defensive lineman. But the guy ahead of him was one of the best in the country; B.J. Raji was taken by Green Bay with the ninth pick.

Brace, a Springfield, Mass., resident, gets to play near home.

“I just know it was a dream of mine and actually it came true. I’m hoping I’m not dreaming right now,” he said. “I remember watching them when I was younger.”

The Patriots did not pick a linebacker, one of the areas where they can use help now that Vrabel is gone and inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi is entering his 14th season.

But they chose inside linebacker Jerod Mayo with the 10th pick last year and he went on to become NFL defensive rookie of the year. They also drafted Shawn Crable in the third round, though he was sidelined all season. And they picked up two free agent linebackers who contributed as rookies, Gary Guyton and Vince Redd.

AP-ES-04-25-09 2258EDT

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