Patriots’ 2015 NFL Draft class
Fresh off a Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks, the Patriots made 11 selections in the draft and had mixed results.
Malcom Brown developed into an average starter but never grew into the game-changing force many expected him to be coming out of Texas. He totaled just 8.5 sacks in four seasons before signing a free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints.
New England did find two fantastic players in the fourth round in Trey Flowers and Shaq Mason. Both linemen played pivotal roles in the 2016 and 2018 title runs. Mason signed a lucrative extension and is now just one of two members of that 2015 class remaining on the roster, along with fifth-round long snapper Joe Cardona.
The real black eye on this class is Jordan Richards, who went in the second round despite receiving late-round grades from many draft analysts. The former Stanford safety was torched in the Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and became a lightning rod for criticism from fans.
Some players who went well after Richards include Tyler Lockett (69th overall), Danielle Hunter (88th overall), Za’Darius Smith (122nd overall), and Kwon Alexander (124th overall).
Overall, while Flowers and Mason were home run examples of drafting and developing talent, the fact that just two players earned second contracts from the team speaks to some of the misevaluations.