I'm not talking about the games he was out. He played in eight games and racked up a whopping 126 yards receiving. Go ahead and try to rationalize how that's anything other than a colossal bust.
Because his first year doesn't matter much.
Patriots' drafts are for players to fill needed roles in years 2-4.
If they become stars, most of them sign extreme contracts elsewhere, and are replaced by players in their second and third year.
The NFL, recently supplemented by fantasy football, has a money maker in the draft. They will do everything they can to create and perpetuate fan's beliefs that the future success of their favorite teams is primarily found in rookies coming in as fresh stars, in the role of the hero, stage right. It is a con job. Belichick realizes this, and has no interest in making you or any other fan happy by playing the game. He has other interests. His dedication to them is what's brought the team success.
You can't have both.