Remember the Patriots cut Kenny Moore back in 2017? Yeah…
Though the spotlight has been shone on the New England Patriots‘ inability to draft top talent in the first two rounds of the draft since 2014, fans took solace in the fact that Bill Belichick typically makes up for it in the later rounds and on the undrafted free agent market.
Welp, we have evidence of another BIG swing and miss by the Pats just a few years ago. Back in 2017, a cornerback prospect out of Valdosta State by the name of Kenny Moore signed on with New England after going undrafted.
He managed to remain with the team throughout the summer, but didn’t make the final round of cuts. He was released and the Indianapolis Colts quickly scooped him up off waivers. Now? He’s one of the best slot corners in the NFL. And he’s got the interception of the year.
After two years with the Colts, general manager Chris Ballard opted to make him the highest-paid slot cornerback in the league. Wouldn’t it have been nice for the Pats to have a lockdown defensive back in the slot while Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson took care of the outside? That defense would’ve been even more dominant the last three years.
But forget about that. If the Patriots are whiffing in the first 64 selections AND letting talents like Moore walk, then what in the world is going on in Foxborough?
We’re not getting too ahead of ourselves, either. We know Kyle Dugger, Josh Uche and Michael Onwenu have been really good this year, and that’s the 2020 draft class. But some draft picks/signings have to pan out. You’re not going to strike out on all of them.
But things like this become more and more magnified when you pass on DK Metcalf in favor of N’Keal Harry. And Lamar Jackson (and Nick Chubb!) in favor of Sony Michel. And … OK, that’s honestly enough. Two of those is all we can handle.
It’s understandable that Moore may have not stood out as significantly since the Patriots had a stacked secondary, but if the coaching staff was unable to determine he’d be an asset to the defense, then you can’t help but think that’s something that needs to be addressed.