Patriots' Worst Draft of the Bill Belichick Era?

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Bill Belichick and the Patriots personnel department have been lauded to be among the best in the NFL. Belichick has certainly had some very successful drafts, and he can work trades on the draft board like nobody’s business. Comparatively speaking across the league, Belichick and the Patriots are pretty good drafters. However, he hasn’t always been on-target, and there are some drafts he’d like to forget. Let’s take a look at some of the worst draft classes, and then you can vote in the poll on what was actually the worst draft of the Bill Belichick Era.

Before I get into the drafts, first let me quickly get through my criteria. I took trades completely out of the picture, whether it be for additional picks or veteran players. I focused purely on the draft class of players because, let’s face it, that’s really what the draft is all about. It’s about finding the best players for your team and improving with those players. Next, I looked at how many guys from the draft class are or were major contributors to the team, whether they are still on the team or not, still in the NFL or not, or whether the class produced a big-time impact player. I nearly included the 2000 draft class which was really poor, except they got a guy in the sixth round named Tom Brady. Let’s get to the worst classes.

2006 Draft

  • Round 1: RB Laurence Maroney
  • Round 2: WR Chad Jackson
  • Round 3: TE David Thomas
  • Round 4: TE Garrett Mills
  • Round 4: K Stephen Gostkowski
  • Round 5: T Ryan O’Callaghan
  • Round 6: LB Jeremy Mincey
  • Round 6: G Dan Stevenson
  • Round 7: DB Willie Andrews

Laurence Maroney contributed to the team but was a real failure, especially considering his draft status. Only K Stephen Gostkowski is still on the team. A kicker! (albeit a good one) TE David Thomas has done decent playing for the Saints in a reserve role, while Ryan O’Callaghan started 12 games for the Chiefs in 2009 but only one last season. From a Patriots perspective, this was a big ‘miss’ for them.

2007 Draft

  • Round 1: S Brandon Meriweather
  • Round 4: DL Kareem Brown
  • Round 5: T Clint Oldenburg
  • Round 6: LB Justin Rogers
  • Round 6: RB Justise Hairston
  • Round 6: T Corey Hilliard
  • Round 7: LB Oscar Lua
  • Round 7: G/C Mike Elgin

S Brandon Meriweather, even if he’s not deserving of his Pro Bowl status, is still a solid safety with room still to grow and improve. After him? Well, as you can see, there’s nothing. I know, I know, the Pats traded for Wes Welker and Randy Moss with some of their picks. However, as I mentioned above, we’re looking solely at the draft class itself here, and the class is pretty bad.

What do you think? Vote in the poll below! Which is the worst draft class: 2006 or 2007? If you think another draft class was the worst, choose “Other” in the poll and please specify which one in the Comments section of this article.

What was the Patriots' worst draft of the Bill Belichick Era?

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Tags: 2006 NFL Draft 2007 NFL Draft Bill Belichick Brandon Meriweather New England Patriots NFL NFL Draft Patriots Draft Picks Stephen Gostkowski

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