How the Patriots got where they are: College draft edition

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Danger Zone

In the Starting Line-Up
Queue the people coming in and saying it’s because they draft near, or at, the bottom every year. Those same people will then turn around and say that a team with zero shot shouldn’t tank for a higher pick.
I guess when you post 10,000 posts a day, you get to the point where you have to preargue anything people might have to say.

Thanks for saving us the bother.
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
PatsFans.com Supporter
You assume that the only way to build this team and judge it is by the draft... the reality is when you pick at the lower end, this team took more risks that is probably should have.. but after with success with players like Gronk and Hernandez they may have been too ****y. Somehow in the midst of this ineptitude they went to three Superbowls in a row...

Have difficulty denigrating the Patriots draft in light of the overall success of this team..
The overall success of this team in recent years is attributed to fine drafts from roughly 2009-2013, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick. The failure of this team to move past the WC in 2019 can be attributed to the noted draft failures in years post 2013 (excluding 2019 because it’s too early to judge that group). The draft is not the only way to build a team, but it IS the cheapest way to do it and, as such, is the most important team building process to get right in a league with a hard cap.
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
PatsFans.com Supporter
I guess when you post 10,000 posts a day, you get to the point where you have to preargue anything people might have to say.

Thanks for saving us the bother.
...he says as he hits “submit” on a post at midnight on a Saturday night. Nothing better to do?

Your math is about as bad as any football analysis I’ve ever seen you try to give. But at least you’ve moved on from crying like a little girl about Deus Irae every other post, so you’re making progress on that front.
 
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KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
PatsFans.com Supporter
Tanking doesn't work. It sets a bad tone for the team.

Having a poor record that gets a team better picks is okay but it doesn't guarantee success. It also only gives that team a one pick advantage.

Let me explain that last sentence.

Team A has the 32nd pick and team B has the 24th. After you get by B's pick at 24, team A now has a better pick (by 24 picks) in each and every round. Team B's advantage is just that one pick, which may or may not end up being a good pick.
So then you’re of the opinion that BB just flat out failed to supply this team with young talent, particular on the offensive side of the ball, in the last five drafts. You’d have to be if your stance is that tanking doesn’t work and having a higher pick, and thus access to more blue chip prospects, doesn’t matter because there’s no guarantee of success. Either that, or you should be of the mindset that tanking works fine as long as you hit on those picks.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
And yet somehow with all this terrible, terrible drafting in a far, far, far worse position in the draft year after year after year the Patriots went to Super Bowl year after year after year and somehow stumbled accidentally into one of the best defenses of the past decade.

But you know, the Super Bowls and the defense are not relevant to the conversation of just how bad a drafter Belichick is.
The old "we win Super Bowls!!" argument. I don't see anyone saying Bill has always been a bad drafter or even many people saying Bill is bad at drafting in general. What people are saying is that Bill's recent drafts have been bad. I'm of the belief that this year the last few poor drafts caught up with us. We should have drafted a swing tackle (who could play) to fill in for injuries. We should have had some competent young receivers who had a year or two in the system who were able to contribute. We definitely should have drafted a TE for the number 2 spot when Gronk first started flirting with retirement. Instead Antonio Garcia was never able to play, we drafted a receiver in the first round and hoped he would pick it up right off the bat, and we never bothered to address the TE position.

As for the defense, yes they had a great run this year beating up on some very bad teams but they didn't seem to show up when it counted. They looked like they would be an all time great defense until we started playing real teams and it all fell apart. That being said Bill should get credit for building a good defense even if some of the key cogs were brought here through free agency or trades: Collins (for half the year), Van Noy, Gilmore, Guy, and Jason McCourty.
 

captain stone

Pro Bowl Player
Tight end is a tough position because it's extremely bare in the college ranks as well. Only a handful of schools even use tight ends anymore and many of them aren't very good, so teams just gamble on system guys from Iowa, Alabama, and Miami.
Interesting. Now that you point it out, I realize many of the big highly rated TEs do tend to come from those schools...but they’ve tended to not be as good as the hype.
Stanford also has an established TE pipeline into the NFL...makes sense then to look at those schools if needing a tie-breaker between prospects...
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
PatsFans.com Supporter
The old "we win Super Bowls!!" argument. I don't see anyone saying Bill has always been a bad drafter or even many people saying Bill is bad at drafting in general. What people are saying is that Bill's recent drafts have been bad. I'm of the belief that this year the last few poor drafts caught up with us. We should have drafted a swing tackle (who could play) to fill in for injuries. We should have had some competent young receivers who had a year or two in the system who were able to contribute. We definitely should have drafted a TE for the number 2 spot when Gronk first started flirting with retirement. Instead Antonio Garcia was never able to play, we drafted a receiver in the first round and hoped he would pick it up right off the bat, and we never bothered to address the TE position.

As for the defense, yes they had a great run this year beating up on some very bad teams but they didn't seem to show up when it counted. They looked like they would be an all time great defense until we started playing real teams and it all fell apart. That being said Bill should get credit for building a good defense even if some of the key cogs were brought here through free agency or trades: Collins (for half the year), Van Noy, Gilmore, Guy, and Jason McCourty.
This. The recent drafts have been bad, and that’s putting it kindly. It’s similar to the dry spell the team experienced from roughly 2006-2009.
 

captain stone

Pro Bowl Player
Disagree. There are a number of folks here who've declared themselves as Brady fans, saying they'll stop following the team after he retires or they'll switch allegiance to any team he goes to. Not everyone feels that way of course, but many do.

And it's a legitimate debate about who is more responsible for the team's success over the last 20 years, BB or TB12. And in general the folks who say BB sucks as a GM are generally the same ones who attribute the success of the team to Brady.
Raises hand...
 

JarOfMayo51

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
People have been saying this since 2005, but I guess if you keep saying it, even after 15 years, it will eventually come true. Then you can say "I told you so" and not be laughed at.
?? I don't remember people saying this in 2005, when Brady was young and entering his prime??? :confused::confused:

This is the first time this franchise is faced with the very real possibility that Brady will no longer be here. Their last 4 drafts (2019 being the exception for now) have been terrible, and it started to show. If their next 4 drafts look like their last 4, this team will be in shambles with no Brady to hold it all together
 

1960Pats

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PatsFans.com Supporter
So then you’re of the opinion that BB just flat out failed to supply this team with young talent, particular on the offensive side of the ball, in the last five drafts. You’d have to be if your stance is that tanking doesn’t work and having a higher pick, and thus access to more blue chip prospects, doesn’t matter because there’s no guarantee of success. Either that, or you should be of the mindset that tanking works fine as long as you hit on those picks.
I can't say for sure how Belichick has done in the last five drafts because I don't follow college at all. The first time I see any player is when he's in the NYFL. There's also the fact that most of the injuries this season were on the offensive side of the ball. What we do know is that the Pats have been very successful the last five years.

Tanking is more about the mindset than the results. It helps create a loser mentality.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
I can't say for sure how Belichick has done in the last five drafts because I don't follow college at all. The first time I see any player is when he's in the NYFL. There's also the fact that most of the injuries this season were on the offensive side of the ball. What we do know is that the Pats have been very successful the last five years.

Tanking is more about the mindset than the results. It helps create a loser mentality.
What does watching college football have to do with seeing Sony Michel play average football?
 

1960Pats

PatsFans.com Supporter
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What does watching college football have to do with seeing Sony Michel play average football?
I come in with no expectations and it's too early to judge Michel. Some players take more time to develop. There's also the injury factor to consider.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
I come in with no expectations and it's too early to judge Michel. Some players take more time to develop. There's also the injury factor to consider.
If he was a QB or a receiver I would agree we should hold out judgement but RB should be close to plug and play. On top of that I haven’t seen anything out of him that makes him special. Just flat out black and white things like speed, elusiveness, ability to break tackles, or anything in the passing game. At this point he would need to improve in just about every area to even come close to justifying a first round selection.
 

KontradictioN

Probably the nicest guy on the forum
PatsFans.com Supporter
I can't say for sure how Belichick has done in the last five drafts because I don't follow college at all. The first time I see any player is when he's in the NYFL. There's also the fact that most of the injuries this season were on the offensive side of the ball. What we do know is that the Pats have been very successful the last five years.

Tanking is more about the mindset than the results. It helps create a loser mentality.
Based on what, exactly? No team in NFL history has been the same team from one year to the next.
 

jmt57

Moderator
Staff member
A first round draft pick stolen in a media witch hunt, in a relatively small sample size (20%, five years) is going to be highly impactful on the negative side.

So are injuries (Antonio Garcia, Malcolm Mitchell) that leave a team with zero, and others (Wynn) that cause major issues when combined with Plan B (Veldheer) retiring.


That being said, there certainly seems to be an alarming number of early round (1-3) misses going beyond the 2015 cutoff, even after taking injuries into consideration.

(Number in parenthesis is the total number of draft picks the Pats had that year in the first three rounds.)

2008 (4): Terrence Wheatley, Shawn Crable, Kevin O'Connell
2009 (6): Ron Brace, Brandon Tate, Tyrone McKenzie
2010 (5): Jermaine Cunningham, Taylor Price
2011 (5): Ras-I Dowling, Ryan Mallett
2012 (4): Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette
2013 (4): Aaron Dobson
2014 (2): Dominique Easley
2015 (3): Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom
2016 (4): Cyrus Jones, Vincent Valentine
2017 (2): Derek Rivers, Antonio Garcia


It's too early to tell for the last two drafts, but thus far it does not look very promising. Two to four contributors depending on how full or empty your glass is, and four others that don't inspire any confidence:

2018 1st round: Isaiah Wynn, Sony Michel
2018 2nd round: Duke Dawson
2018 3rd round: no pick
2019 1st round: N'Keal Harry
2019 2nd round: Joejuan Williams
2019 3rd round: Chase Winovich, Damien Harris, Yodny Cajuste


One other thing that jumps out is how late the Patriots drafted in consecutive years, 2016 and 2017. The previous year they stood pat, choosing Malcom Brown, Jordan Richards and Geneo Grissom at the end of each round. In 2016 the Pats had zero picks from 1-59, then made Cyrus Jones their first selection. The following year the Pats did not make a pick until #83, and only two in the top 130: Rivers and Garcia.

Those bad back-to-back drafts in 2016-17 look to be the issue more than anything else. Lost first and fourth round picks to Roger, traded a first and third for Brandin Cooks, then when selections are finally made it is Cyrus Jones, etc.


Edit
: another issue was mishandling the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Due to the timing the Pats received less than they otherwise would have got in return (a 2nd round pick).

The trade actually looks worse because instead of a single second round draft bust to lament, there are seven draftees that arrived due to that exchange that have yet to produce in a meaningful way.

That 2nd got traded down or out to the next year (JoeJuan Williams), resulting in multiple picks that are either already gone (Christian Sam, Duke Dawson) or have yet to contribute (Damien Harris, Yodny Cajuste, Jarrett Stidham, weekly healthy scratch Byron Cowart. The Pats have one more chance to salvage something from that deal, with a 2020 fourth round pick from that trade.
 

Danger Zone

In the Starting Line-Up
We won a Super Bowl last year. Another two years before that and another two years before that.

WE DIDNT WIN THIS YEAR OR IN THE YEARS WITH EVEN NUMBERS!! WE SUCK! BELICHICK SUCKS YOU SUCK.

Ok, you win.
 

Danger Zone

In the Starting Line-Up
The NFL Draft is a crap shoot.
NFL drafting is not an exact science. Not even close. Despite all the research that goes into trying to evaluate college players, nobody, nobody, nobody can determine what is going to turn a great college player into an even passable NFL player. The best they can do is attempt to play the odds, take smart risks and roll the dice. And because so much of the draft is luck, it is guaranteed that teams will have lean years in drafting.

No Team Can Beat the Draft

If teams showed any consistency in their ability to out-draft the market, it would show up in these deviations. But, as Chase Stuart of FootballPerspective.com has also found, there’s practically no correlation.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/no-team-can-beat-the-draft/#fn-6
And yes, drafting after all other teams have taken their pick first will have a detriment on a teams ability to successfully draft.
 

supafly

Suddenly sad and Brady-less
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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
This. The recent drafts have been bad, and that’s putting it kindly. It’s similar to the dry spell the team experienced from roughly 2006-2009.
How can anyone argue otherwise?

Edit: sorry, DZ. That’s going to look like it’s aimed at you, but that was unintentional.
 

203Pat

In the Starting Line-Up
How can anyone argue otherwise?

Edit: sorry, DZ. That’s going to look like it’s aimed at you, but that was unintentional.
Because some people are delusional homers that think that if the team wins games then all facets of the organization are perfect.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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What is a bigger myth?

The draft is a crapshoot or teams don't draft for need?

These two might be the biggest out there tho?
 
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