- Mobile

April 30 in Pats History: Eight 4/30 Drafts

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:


Staff member
The 1980 draft was the first to be televised in its entirety by ESPN, and it included three Hall of Famers: OT Anthony Muñoz (3rd overall, Cincinnati), WR Art Monk (18th overall, Washington) and C Dwight Stephenson (48th overall, Miami).

April 30, 1980: Day Two (Rounds 7-12) of the NFL Draft, from the New York Sheraton Hotel
  • G Tom Kearns, Kentucky (7th round, #180)
  • TE Mike House, Pacific (8th round, #208)
  • LB Barry Burdet, Oklahoma (9th round, #235)
  • C Rom Daniel, Georgia Tech (10th round, #266)
  • P Mike Hubach, Kansas (11th round, #293)
  • QB Jimmy Jordan, Florida State (12th round, #320)

The previous day the Pats had a pair of nice picks, selecting S Roland James (11 seasons for the Pats) and LB Lawrence McGrew (10 years with the Pats). However, RB Vagas Ferguson was a bust and DT Steve McMichael became a star in Chicago after the Patriots gave him away after one season.

Five of the six players selected on day two never played a down in the NFL, with punter Mike Hubach - who lasted for just a year and a half - being the sole player from this group to make it a perfect zero.

April 30, 1985: Day One (Rounds 1-3?) of the NFL Draft, from the Omni Park Central Hotel in NYC
  • Pats trade down, sending their 1st round (#16) and a 3rd (#75) to the 49ers for a 1st (#28), 2nd (#56) and 3rd (#84). If that looks like SF gave up very little to move up 12 spots, you are correct. Now consider who the 49ers selected with that pick: Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice.
  • C Trevor Matich, Brigham Young (1st round, #28) [pick from SF trade above]
  • DE Garin Veris, Stanford (2nd round, #48)
  • CB Jim Bowman, Central Michigan (2nd round, #52) [one of two picks received from Raiders in 11/11/83 Mike Haynes trade]
  • DE Ben Thomas, Auburn (2nd round, #56) [from SF trade above]
  • (3rd round pick, #75, sent to SF in trade above)
  • Pats trade a 3rd (#81) back to Seattle for a 1986 2nd
  • CB Audray McMillian, Houston [pick from SF trade above]

I realize that it is easy to nitpick a draft after the fact once you have the benefit of hindsight, but... wow; there are so many things that went wrong here. You seemingly start out in good shape with your own middle of the round picks (1.16, 2.48, 3.75), plus one other pick acquired in a prior trades (2.52).

Four of the first 75 picks; this is going to be great, just like the '76 draft, right?

First you pass on one of the greatest players in NFL history by trading down for an offensive lineman who couldn't crack the starting lineup and was able to stay in the NFL only by becoming a long snapper. Veris had a couple good seasons, but after '88 was relegated to backup duty. Bowman was okay, but his production was not worthy of being a third round pick. Ben Thomas only lasted for a year and a half. Audray McMillian had an eight-year NFL career, but none of it was in New England; he was cut at the end of his rookie training camp.


The 1986 draft is most notable for being the one that Bo Jackson told Tampa to not draft him, he would refuse to sign a contract with them. The Bucs being the Bucs drafted Bo anyways, and sure enough he never did sign with them, choosing instead to play baseball for less money.

April 30, 1986: Day Two (rounds 7(?)-12) of the NFL Draft, from the New York Marriott Marquis
  • 7.187 -- WR Ray McDonald, Florida [pick was part of a 1983 Matt Cavanaugh trade to SF)
  • 7.192 -- DE Brent Williams, Toledo
  • 8.220 -- TE Greg Baty, Stanford
  • 9.248 -- G George Colton, Maryland
  • 10.276 - RB Cletis Jones, Florida State
  • 11.304 - WR Gene Thomas, Pacific
  • 12.332 - K Don McAuly, Syracuse

Brent Williams was the only player from this group to have an impact, playing in 121 games for the Patriots over eight seasons. Baty would proceed to play in the NFL until 1994, but he only lasted for a year and a half in New England. Colton played in three games for the Pats, as a replacement player during the 1987 strike. The four others (plus one more from day one) never played in a single NFL game. Williams was the only player of note for this entire draft for the Patriots, who wasted their first round pick on RB Reggie Dupard.

April 30, 1988: Pats sign undrafted rookie free agent punter Jeff Feagles, from Miami
Feagles only averaged 38.3 and 38.0 yards per punt in his two seasons with the Pats; that led to his release and the Patriots signing Brian Hansen in the 1990 off season. Feagles went on to spend 20 more years in the NFL, something not even his parents would have predicted at that point in time.


Staff member
The Houston Texans surprised many by selecting DE Mario Williams first overall, rather than RB Reggie Bush or QB Vince Young. QB Matt Leinart went 10th, and Jay Cutler 11th.

April 30, 2006: Day Three (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft, from Radio City Music Hall
  • (On Day One the Pats drafted RB Laurence Maroney, WR Chad Jackson and TE David Thomas)
  • Pats trade up 39 spots, sending 5.145 and 6.206 to Detroit for 4.106
  • 4.106 -- FB Garrett Mills, Tulsa
  • 4.118 -- K Stephen Gostkowski, Memphis
  • 5.136 -- OT Ryan O'Callaghan, Cal (pick came from a 2005 trade down)
  • (5.152 was traded to Cleveland in 8/22/05 for WR Andre' Davis)
  • 6.191 -- DE Jeremy Mincey, Florida
  • (Pats awarded two 6th round compensatory picks for free agent losses of David Patten and Joe Andruzzi)
  • 6.205 -- G Dan Stevenson, Notre Dame
  • 6.206 -- DT Le Kevin Smith, Nebraska
  • 7.229 -- S Willie Andrews

At the time many people felt the Gostkowski selection was a reach and a terrible decision, but as it turned out he was the best selection of this draft by the Patriots. Trading up and then using the pick on Mills turned out to be the wrong move. Other players available at that spot that went in the fourth round include OT Jahri Evans, RB Leon Washington, WR Brandon Marshall and DE Elvis Dumervil.

April 30, 2009: Tampa Bay trades TE Alex Smith to New England for a 2010 fifth round pick
Three days after the '09 draft the Pats acquired a veteran tight end. Smith was originally a third round pick in 2005, from Stanford. He played in 58 games (with 43 starts) in four seasons for the Bucs, with 129 receptions and 11 touchdowns. Tampa was overstocked at the position after trading for Kellen Winslow and re-signing Jerramy Stevens earlier in the offseason - and were likely happy to get something for Smith after presumably not being able to get something for him during the draft.

Smith was waived during final roster cuts, electing to trade for a bigger blocker (Michael Matthews) at tight end to compliment Ben Watson and Chris Baker at the position. Smith signed with Philadelphia a few days later, and remained in the NFL for seven more seasons - while Matthews appeared in just four games for the Pats before being released.

April 30, 2011: Day Three (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft
  • (The Pats selected OT Nate Solder on Day One, then CB Ras-I Dowling, RB Shane Vereen, RB Stevan Ridley and QB Ryan Mallett on Day Two)
  • (Pats had traded Laurence Maroney and 6.189 to Denver for 4.99 on 9/14/10)
  • (Pats had traded 4.99 to Seattle for WR Deion Branch on 10/11/10)
  • (Pats had traded 4.125 to Oakland the previous day)
  • (Pats had traded 2.60 to Houston the previous day for 3.73 (Ridley) and 5.138)
  • 5.138 -- OT Marcus Cannon, Texas Christian
  • 5.159 -- TE Lee Smith, Marshall
  • (6.189 was previously acquired in David Thomas trade, then sent to Denver in Maroney trade)
  • Patriots trade 6.193 to Philadelphia for 6.194
  • 6.194 -- DE Markell Carter, Central Arkansas
  • (Pats received 7.219 in trade with Oakland the previous day)
  • 7.219 -- CB Malcolm Williams, Texas Christian
  • (Pats traded 7.230 to Atlanta for OL Quinn Ojinnaka on 8/22/10)

Marcus Cannon was a steal in the fifth round, even though it took a while for him to become a full time starter. It's too bad the Pats couldn't have made room for Lee Smith; he was waived at the end of training camp, claimed by Buffalo and is still in the NFL. Markell Carter was an offseason/preseason favorite, but he never did get to play a real game in the NFL.

April 30, 2012: Patriots sign a pair of undrafted rookie free agents: WR Matt Roark (Kentucky) and DL Marcus Forston (Miami).

April 30, 2013: Pats release G Brian Waters
When Stephen Neal was unable to go in 2011 it appeared that the offensive line could be a season long issue. Dan Connolly had already slid over to replace Dan Koppen at center, so there wasn't another reserve lineman waiting in the wings as a long term replacement. Waters was a great pickup in that year, earning his sixth Pro Bowl honor after 11 seasons in Kansas City. He refused to report in 2012 though, stating that he would only play if it was with a team where he could be close to his family in Texas. The Patriots tried to convince Waters to return for one season but he held firm, and sat out the entire year. As a result Ryan Wendell became the starting center, and Connolly moved to left guard - his third position as a starter in three seasons. The Patriots were unable to find a trade partner and eventually released him; Waters proceeded to play one more season in Dallas, and then retired.

April 30, 2015: Day Two (round one) of the NFL Draft, from the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago
  • 1.32 -- DT Malcom Brown, Texas

Malcom was a four year starter in New England, and is entering his third year with the Saints.


Staff member
The first seven players taken in the 2016 Draft have all been named to at least one Pro Bowl: QB Jared Goff, QB Carson Wentz, DE Joey Bosa, RB Ezekiel Elliott, CB Jalen Ramsey, OT Ronnie Stanley and DE DeForest Buckner.

April 30, 2016: Day Three (rounds 4-7) of the NFL Draft, from the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago
  • (Pats first round pick was stolen; then they drafted CB/PR Cyrus Jones and Joe Thuney on Day Two)
  • (Pats had traded 2.61 for 3.78 (Thuney) and 4.112 previous day)
  • 4.112 -- WR Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
  • (Pats traded 4.127 to Chicago for TE Martellus Bennett and 6.204 on 3/16/16)
  • Pats trade up, sending 6.196, 6.204 and 7.250 to Miami for 5.147
  • Pats trade down, sending 5.147 and 7.243 to Seattle for 7.225 and a 2017 fourth
  • (Pats traded 5.166 to Houston for WR Keshawn Martin and 6.196 on 9/17/15)
  • (Pats traded 6.204 to Chicago for LB Jon Bostic on 9/29/15)
  • 6.208 -- LB Kamu Grugier-Hill, Eastern Illinois (compensatory pick for loss of Vince Wilfork)
  • 6.214 -- LB Elandon Roberts, Houston (compensatory pick for loss of Brandon Browner)
  • 6.221 -- G Ted Karras, Illinois (compensatory pick for loss of Shane Vereen)
  • 7.225 -- WR Devin Lucien, Arizona State
  • Top UDFA: CB Jonathan Jones, Auburn

April 30, 2021: Day Two (rounds 2-3) of the NFL Draft, from First Energy Stadium in Cleveland
  • (Pats began draft with picks 1.15, 2.46, 3.96, 4.120, 4.122, 4.139, 5.177, 6.197 and 7.242)
  • Pats trade up 8 spots, sending 2.46, 4.122 and 4.139 to Cincinnati for 2.38
  • 2.38 --- DT Christian Barmore, Alabama
  • (3.77 previously forfeited due to the 2019 Kraft Entertainment filming incident)
  • (Pats awarded 3.96 as compensatory pick for free agent loss of QB Tom Brady)
  • 3.96 --- DE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma

The immediate (over) reaction by the sports media was that the Patriots had done very well, adding Mac Jones, Barmore and Perkins on the first two days of the draft.