A quiet draft for the Pats

A quiet draft for the Pats
April 25, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Bill Belichick has made 117 draft picks since taking over as HC of the NEP. I know this because I counted. And just for fun, here are a few more things I can tell you about the last 13 years of NFL drafts with America’s Hooded Sweetheart.

Of his 117 picks (and a big thanks to Pro-Football-Reference on all this) . . .

* 14 have made the Pro Bowl: He’s never drafted more than two Pro Bowlers in the same year, but has drafted exactly two five times: 2001 (Richard Seymour/Matt Light), 2003 (Dan Koppen/Asante Samuel), 2005 (Logan Mankins/Matt Cassel), 2008 (Jerod Mayo/Matt Slater) and 2010 (Devin McCourty/Rob Gronkowski).

To this point, there are four drafts that have produced no Pro Bowlers at all, although hopefully Stevan Ridley, Nate Solder, Chandler Jones and/or Dont’a Hightower can change that someday soon.

* 17 never played, or have yet to play a single NFL game: That includes the likes of Bo Rudd, Arthur Love, Mike Elgin and the one and only Oscar Lua.

* He’s drafted six players from the University Florida (Gus Scott, Jeremy Mincey, Chad Jackson, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham), which is his highest number from any school. He’s also drafted five players from Notre Dame, four from Georgia, LSU and Miami, three from Michigan, Colorado and Nebraska, two from Alabama, Boston College and Texas A&M, and only one from Ohio State. (Hello, Nate Ebner!)

He’s never drafted a player from the Naval Academy.

* He’s drafted seven running backs, but only two (Laurence Maroney and Stevan Ridley) have rushed for more than 1,000 yards in their career.

* He’s drafted 10 receivers, but only two (David Givens and Deion Branch) have made more than 100 catches in their career. On the other hand, he’s drafted 12 tight ends and five (David Thomas, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Daniel Graham and Ben Watson) have gone on to catch at least 100.

* He’s drafted seven quarterbacks, but sadly, only one has thrown for more than 40,000 yards, 330 touchdowns and won at least three Super Bowls.

* He’s drafted players with last names ranging nearly the entire alphabet, except for some obvious ones: Q – U – X – Y – Z

He’s also never drafted a player with a last name beginning with F.

Why? Because Bill Belichick doesn’t give an eff.

And you may not give an eff about anything that I’ve just written, but what did you expect? You want me to tell you what Belichick is going to do tonight (and this weekend)? Sure! And after that I’ll solve a Rubik’s cube while handcuffed to a moving vehicle. Then I’ll teach my Dad how to use the Internet. And then . . . I don’t know.

All I can say is that after 13 years of NFL drafts with Bill Belichick, the only thing I’m sure of is that I’m not sure of anything at all. No one is. In reality, all we have is the past because the future is so ridiculously random.

You think the Pats need to trade up? He’ll trade down. You think they need help on offense? He’ll overload on defense. Think the Pats already have too many tight ends? He’ll draft five.

Of course, every year, we all have an opinion on what the Pats need. But as far as 2013 goes, it’s hard to get your hope up very high. The Pats only have five picks this year, and it could be less by the time Belichick’s through wheeling in dealing. Five would be the fewest picks he’s ever had in a Patriots draft — a far cry from 2009 and 2010, when the Pats selected a total of 24 guys.

Of course, this is probably a good sign. After all, the reason the Pats had so many picks in 2009 and 2010 was that they needed them. It was because Belichick’s previous three drafts had been so pathetic.

Here are the players he got in rounds 1-3 from 2006-08: Laurence Maroney, Chad Jackson, David Thomas, Brandon Meriweather, Jerod Mayo, Terrence Wheatley and Shawn Crable.


And here are the players Belichick got in rounds 1-3 from 2010-12: Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, Taylor Price (in the third round, but got Aaron Hernandez in the fourth), Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Tavon Willson and Jake Bequette.

Okay, so he wasn’t perfect, but that’s a foundation. That’s some damn good drafting. And that’s why this year’s draft is just kind of . . . meh.

The Pats have the 29th pick in the first round, the 27th pick in the second round and the 29th pick in the third round. Then, they’ll sit out the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds before returning for two more in the seventh.

Personally, I’ll take a WR/CB combo with those first two picks. I don’t care which order it is, and whoever they take, I’ll be ready to give the kid the benefit of the doubt.

And more than anything, I’ll be happy that for the first time in a while, the draft ISN’T such a big deal for the Patriots, and that for the 14th consecutive April, Bill Belichick is leading the charge.