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.