Patriots’ 2016 NFL Draft class
Joe Thuney has proven to be one of the best draft picks of the Belichick era… but the 2016 class was largely forgettable otherwise.
While Thuney has been a mainstay at left guard since his first training camp, the abject disaster that was Cyrus Jones stands out as one of the worst selections in Belichick’s two-decade reign. The former Alabama standout lacked confidence, got injured, and never made an impact in his brief time in New England.
A number of quality players went right after Jones, including Vonn Bell (61st overall), Kevin Byard (64th overall), and Yannick Ngakoue (69th). Yeah, that still stings.
The Patriots did snag Jacoby Brissett with the 91st pick, but flipped him for Phillip Dorsett not too long after. Let’s call that one a wash. Fellow third-rounder Vincent Valentine started two games as a rookie and was gone by Year 3.
The saddest story from the 2016 class has to be Malcolm Mitchell. One of the few (and I mean few) young receivers to ever make an impact in this offense, the unsung Super Bowl hero watched his career end before it really began due to recurring knee issues.
Sixth-rounders Elandon Roberts and Ted Karras provided quality depth, especially in 2019, but they don’t move the needle.
With Thuney set to break the bank as an unrestricted free agent, and Roberts and Karras possibly seeking more playing time elsewhere, there’s a good chance that there won’t be a single player from this class on the 2020 roster.