GBN Likes our 2005 Draft
The link says midseason but it's not, based on some of what was written (specifically Braylon Edwards' torn ACL which was late in the season).
Among their ratings :
Patriots' draft overall : A-.
Logan Mankins : 3rd best offensive rookie.
Nick Kaczur : Honorable Mention offensive rookie (10 ranked and 6 HM total).
Ellis Hobbs : 6th best defensive rookie.
Logan Mankins : Best pick of 1st round (obviously meaning value per round not actual best player).
This is the overall writeup (they refer to Hobbs as a second rounder here but correctly have him as a 3rd rounder in the rankings) :
New England: Sometimes, the best laid plans... As two-time defending Super Bowl champs, the Patriots weren't expecting to have to rely on their 2005 rookie class, at least not this year. Having OG Logan Mankins, the Patriots' #1 pick this past April, start from day one at LG was part of the plan and indeed Mankins played like a veteran pretty much from the git-go. What the Patriots didn't plan on, though, was that OT Nick Kaczur, their 3rd rounder this year, would also end up starting at LT much of the season in place of an injured Matt Light; like Mankins, though, this year's top rookie from Canada, held up surprisingly well. A couple of other rookies were also forced to step up when the Patriots' secondary was decimated by injuries. In particualr, CB Ellis Hobbs, a 2nd round pick this year, was more than solid, registering 42 tackles, as well as picking off 3 passes and breaking up 12 more; for good measure, Hobbs also averaged a respectable 24 yards per return bringing back KOs. At the same time, SS James Sanders, a 4th rounder, also got some emergency playing time, including a start; Sanders chipped in 12 tackles and returned an interception for a TD. Meanwhile, QB Matt Cassel, Matt Leinart's backup at Southern California who the Patriots took in the 7th round, also got some mop-up playing time, where he completed 54% of his pass attempts, including two for TDs. ... First-year grade: A-
With so many of your rookies being forced into action this year due to injuries, I believe Pioli and BB deserve an A+ for their draft. With all the injuries, next year you'll have seasoned second year players which grant the Patriots a better overall team.
If you look back over the pats past 4-5 drafts, it's been pretty incredible.
and next year we have 6 picks in the first 4 rounds, so along with the development of this year's picks, should spell excellent improved talent and depth for the pats!
2005 Looks like it was another solid draft for us. The contributions of Kaczur, Mankins, and Hobbs make that pretty obvious. I am a little skeptical about their grading system though given that only 8 teams got a C or below. Enough of the grade inflation!
PS-I didn't see San Diego's ranking although Merriman was listed as a top Defender. I thought that odd...
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