Originally Posted by patchick
I've noticed a lot of remarks here lately taking as a given that the Patriots have a problem with the 2nd round of the draft. E.g., jokes about how they might as well have traded away all their 2nd round picks, since they're going to be worthless any way.
I started to wonder just how bad the team's record in that round has actually been. So I decided to compare against the team that is commonly regarded on this board and others as the draft gold standard, the Steelers. I looked at every second round pick of PIT and NE from 2001-2010. I took my standard of success for a 2nd rounder to be "became a regular starter." Here's the breakdown:
Steelers: 8 total picks, 4 successful, 50% hit rate.
Patriots: 14 total picks, 7 successful, 50% hit rate.
So that's dead even at 50%...though I had to be verrrry generous to the Steelers to make it so. 3 of their 4 "successes" were only half-time starters during their rookie contracts, or only became starters in their 4th season. All 7 of the Patriots' "successes" were full-time starters by season 2.
So either the Steelers are much, much worse than we thought, or the Patriots are, despite widespread fan perception, pretty darned awesome.
My guess: the perception of failure is totally a byproduct of the Patriots' stockpiling so many 2nd-round picks. It makes it super easy for fans to think of a large number of failures, even though their rate of success is outstanding.
I think you have half hit the nail on the head. I think the criticism stems from 3 things.
The 1st as you mentioned is we have had a lot of 2nd rounders in that period meaning more successes but also more failures. Being pats fans we forget sometimes the Spikes, Gronk, Vollmer and Chungs who came out and produced straight away but remember the Wheatleys, et al.
2nd is the fact that we have spent alot of those draft picks recently on our DB's and so far most of them have not paid of to the standard we would like. This has just highlighted an area for people to be negative about. Wheatley, Butler, Ras-I and Chung have all been taken in the last 4 years and for the most part have been to-date disappointments in the eyes of fans. There seems to be much debate over why... poor coaching? poor evaluation of injury risk? just poor picking?
3rd is simply we as fans have very high standards when it comes to our draft picks. Cunningham i use as an example and Chung is another. Cunningham played every game as a rookie changing over to OLB on a team that went 14-2. He had a bad 2nd year and is labeled a bust. Chung has been a starter every year since picked... that is the job of the people drafting... to pick people we believe will start and improve this team. Unfortunately after showing promise injury and exposure of his poor coverage skills has put him in the pats fans dog house.
Just in recent times off the top of my head we have had:
T Wilson 6 games 2 starts (Rookie)
Dowling 8 games 2 starts (injuries)
Vereen 8 games 0 starts (injuries)
Gronk 38 games 33 starts (All Pro)
Cunningham 30 games 12 starts (good 1st year bad 2nd middle 3rd so far)
Spikes 26 games 24 starts (above average NFL MLB)
Chung 44 games 29 starts (started every game after his rookie year)
Brace 35 games 7 starts (Many would consider a disappointing pick)
Butler Busted after his 1st year
Vollmer 42 games 35 starts (1 2nd team all pro season...injuries after)
Wheatley Busted. Never got on the field with any real consistently (injuries)
Personally i would consider 5 Good picks 2 busts 4 to early to call I count Brace as to early because if there is one injury on our DL he seems to be 1st cab off the rank and that might be all he needs to get some confidence.