New England Patriots: 1993 most memorable NFL Draft moment

23 Jan 1997: Quarterback Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots during Media Day at Super Bowl XXXI week prior to the Patriots versus Green Bay Packers game at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana
23 Jan 1997: Quarterback Drew Bledsoe of the New England Patriots during Media Day at Super Bowl XXXI week prior to the Patriots versus Green Bay Packers game at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana /

What is the most memorable NFL Draft moment in New England Patriots history?

The New England Patriots have been very good when it comes to the NFL Draft. It is one of the reasons that they have been able to sustain this long period of success over the league for almost two decades.

Bill Belichick works wonders this time of the year. He is able to find players that fit the Patriots mold, getting the most out of someone other organizations may have overlooked. When it comes to the draft, there aren’t many teams that do it as well as New England.

Throughout the years, there have been many memorable draft moments for the Patriots. Years with multiple first-round draft picks, such as 2018, when they added multiple Pro Bowlers. Late round gems such as Tom Brady. Don’t forget the numerous trades.

Since taking over the Patriots job, no one has been as active as Belichick on the trade market. Belichick has completed 61 draft day trades in his 18 years running the show. He is not afraid to shuffle the deck and seems to always make the most of the hand he is given.

Those trades have made for some memorable moments in Patriots draft history. However, none were selected as the most memorable draft moment in New England Patriots history. Instead, a moment before Belichick’s time was the selection.

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Over at ESPN, the most memorable draft moment for all 32 teams was selected by their respective team writers. Some were positive, some were negative memories. For New England, theirs was a positive one.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss’ most memorable draft moment for the Patriots came back in 1993. That is when New England selected quarterback Drew Bledsoe out of Washington State.

Here is what Reiss had to say about the memorable moment.

"While there was speculation that the Patriots would draft Drew Bledsoe first overall in 1993 — choosing him over Rick Mirer — the club never informed Bledsoe of its intentions. So as he waited in the draft room with the likes of Garrison Hearst and Willie Roaf, Bledsoe was in suspense as much as anyone when then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue approached the podium to announce that New England was on the clock. As Bledsoe donned a red button-down shirt (no suit and tie) and held up a blue Patriots jersey with the No. 1 on it, the New England region had hope that its doormat status in the NFL was about to change. It sure did. Because of that, the selection of Bledsoe edges out Rob Gronkowski‘s full-family onstage celebration in 2010 and Kevin Faulk announcing a pick in 2016 in a Tom Brady jersey to show his support for his former QB as Brady went through Deflategate. – Mike Reiss"

Bledsoe played the first nine seasons of his career with the Patriots. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times during his tenure in New England.

In his second season with the team, Bledsoe led the NFL with 4,555 yards passing, which would also be a career-high for him.  With a young quarterback, you have to take the good with the bad, as Bledsoe also led the NFL with a career-high 27 interceptions that season. He wouldn’t throw more than 17 in any other season.

However, his most memorable moment in New England was a bad one for him. In Week 2 of the 2001 season, Bledsoe was tackled by New York Jets linebacker, Mo Lewis. He was injured on the play, and the rest is history.

Bledsoe was replaced by Tom Brady that afternoon, who has been the starting quarterback for the Patriots ever since. Brady helped lead New England to the Super Bowl that season, which effectively ended Bledsoe’s tenure with the organization.

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Bledsoe would be traded to the Buffalo Bills on April 22, 2002 for a 2003 first round draft pick. Bledsoe would play three seasons with Buffalo before spending the final two seasons of his career with the Dallas Cowboys.