New England Patriots In the Draft and the 2013 NFL Draft

The countdown to the 2013 NFL Draft is getting closer by the minute and soon we will know who will be the next Patriot of the 2013 NFL Draft. We can only have high optimism that the five prospective draft picks will get us to close the deal in February to take the Lombardi to Foxboro. It’s often said that a Super Bowl championship is won in the war room, and in part, it’s so true because the draft is the path to building the “perfect team”.

Apr 27, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots first round draft choices Chandler Jones (second left) and Dont

Bill Belichick always finds ways to surprise us on draft day. Not that he really purposefully thinks….  “umm how should I surprise the fans today?…” – but it so happens that any action he takes (football wise) it becomes intriguing and I find it difficult not to be curious and excited to see what Belichick will do next.  Perhaps, it’s that kind of uniqueness that adds up to one of the reasons why football professionals and general public dislike Belichick. It is like “gee… why didn’t I think about that?”

Not to be one-sided, I would say that Bill Belichick did miss a few picks, such as drafting Adrian Klemm (2000 NFL Draft, 2nd round, 46th overall, enjoyed the ride on the Patriots three Super Bowl win), Chad Jackson (“injury king and Mr. Attitude” 2006 NFL Draft, Patriots traded draft picks with Green Bay Packers to move up sixteen places from 52nd to Packers’ 36th in the second round to get Jackson and giving up a third-round pick acquired in trade) and Duane Starks (2005 NFL Draft Patriots traded a third round pick to bring Starks in the hope of filling the void for Ty Law).

This one is not a miss, but it was an “almost miss”. Thankfully the almost doesn’t really count in this particular situation as the New England Patriots (slow like a snail) selected Tom Brady, pick # 199, in the 2000 NFL Draft in the sixth round – a compensatory pick. It was either Brady or Tim Rattay, and thanks to the late quarterback coach Dick Rehbein and the due diligence of Bobby Grier as the only NFL executive to contact Brady’s head coach in Michigan, Lloyd Carr – Belichick chose Tom Brady and the rest is history. Well, we’re still making history.

What were all the other 31 teams thinking? It took all the way to the sixth round at pick # 199 until somebody drafted Brady? But hey, it doesn’t matter what the other 31 teams think. The Patriots did their homework!

Usually, Bill Belichick doesn’t give in into temptation and desperation on draft day (or during free agency) by opting to use the “best available” strategy rather than on a need basis. It’s not until the draft takes its course that there’s a feeling of how it will develop. In War Room, author Michael Holley take us deep into the war room and he shared that Belichick’s draft formula, as Belichick said himself is – “do your homework”. Belichick gives a few examples of how this “homework” looks like, but for that, you must read the book – which I highly recommend. (I’m sorry, but I can’t spoil the fun of reading 338 pages of pure draft strategy goodies.)

With five drafts picks available – “thanks but no thanks” to Pittsburgh Steelers for matching Patriots offer sheet of $2.5 million for restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, we’re back at square one at the wide receiver position. This year’s draft will certainly be a draft in which we will find out which sequency Belichick will throw the “best available” card and the “need” card as the team is also in the market for a defense end position in the hopes to boost our pass rushing game. Belichick’s mind operates defense, so I will be surprised if he selects offense on the first-round.

I for one can’t wait for draft day.  And here is what’s in store for us.

  • 2013 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET, Round 1, 10 minutes per selection
  • Friday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET, Rounds 2, 7 minutes per selection
  • Saturday, April 27 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Rounds 3-7, 5 minutes per selection
Round 1, 29thoverall, assigned selectionRound 2, 59thoverall, assigned selection

Round 3, 91stoverall, assigned selection

Round 4, 126thoverall, traded to Tampa Bay (for Aqib Talib)

Round 5, 162nd overall, traded to Washington (for Albert Haynesworth)

Round 6, 197th overall, traded to Cincinnati (for Chad Johnson)

Round 7, 226th overall, obtained from Tampa Bay (Tampa acquired from Chicago)

Round 7, 235th overall, assigned selection

No compensatory pick awarded in this year’s draft.

Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook

Topics: 2013 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots

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