New England Patriots: Revisiting and Grading the Draft: 2010

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Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Patriots hit a home run with their first two picks Devin McCourty and Rob Gronkowski. Aaron Hernandez, Zoltan Mesko, and Brandon Deaderick were solid value picks. Thomas Welch and Ted Larson were good value picks who were victims of an overcrowded roster of talent and some good pickups on the undrafted free agent market. The picks of Jermaine Cunningham and Taylor Price were busts, but with so much success the Patriots could hardly be blamed for two misses.


Seattle built their Super Bowl team through this draft as they snagged tackle Russell Okung and safety Earl Thomas in the first round. Wide receiver Golden Tate came along in the second round and safety Kam Chancellor was a steal in the fifth round. Cornerback Walter Thurmond came along in the fourth round that year and tight end Anthony McCoy was a solid sixth round value.


Pittsburgh probably had the second-best draft class grabbing Maurkice Pouncey in the first round, Jason Worilds in the second, Emmanuel Sanders in the third round and then finding Antonio Brown in sixth round. The Ravens had a rare off-year spending their first two picks on disappointments Terrence Cody and Sergio Kindle. Their next two picks were tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta who never turned into Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Their draft was saved by finding Arthur Jones in the fifth round.


The worst draft was reserved for the New York Jets who traded away most of their 2009 and 2010 drafts in getting quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2009. After investing in Vernon Gholston and Dustin Keller in 2008, then Sanchez and Shonn Greene in 2009 the Jets needed a solid draft class in 2010 to continue their winning ways. Suffice to say, Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum blew and laid the groundwork for the collapse of the Jets. The Jets picked cornerback Kyle Wilson in the first round (that was an “F”), tackle Vlad Ducasse in the second round (another “F”), and the next Reggie Bush–Joe McKnight–in the fourth round (basically a kick returner), and fullback John Conner in the sixth round (a blocker…but nothing else). The Jets blew this draft and set up their future failures and eventually Tannenbaum and Ryan’s demise.

New England has to rate high with the 2010 NFL Draft. A franchise player for the secondary in the first round and a difference maker on offense is a great draft for just two picks. The rest of the value just added on to a group that helped keep the team strong and into the Super Bowl Champions they are today.