Why owner Robert Kraft’s comments on the draft are right
The Patriots’ 2019 and 2020 draft debacles
Shifting to 2019, there was more of the same. The team’s first-round pick, their only recent attempt at a pedigreed wide receiver selection, was N’Keal Harry. Harry has been a bust and on the trade bubble seemingly forever. Their second-round pick was the same as the first. It was another Patriots’ draft cornerback flop, Joejuan Williams. He has made no impact and, like Harry, is probably only around because it’s too much of an embarrassment to cut so many high picks. Their trade value is zilch. The Patriots should try to get a seventh-round pick for each and run.
The team also had three third-round picks in 2019. One uncharacteristically has turned out well, though he basically didn’t see the field as a rookie. That was Damien Harris, a very fine pick in anyone’s view. The other two third-rounders were not so good. Chase Winovich, a real favorite in this space both before and after the draft, started well in Year 1, leveled off in Year 2, and then fell off a cliff in Year 3.
Winovich was dealt to Cleveland for another linebacker, Mack Wilson, this offseason. In total, he was a huge disappointment. Then there was third-rounder, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste. He’s been oft-injured and has contributed basically nothing. In the fourth round, Pats Nation was gifted with two more of the same. Guard Hjalte Froholdt never played much and quarterback Jarrett Stidham … well, has done nothing and should also be traded.
The team did hit on one later pick. Punter Jake Bailey has been great. Defensive tackle Byron Cowart has played a bit. On balance, this draft has to be graded a D overall, only salvaged by the Harris and Bailey selections. Yet, when you blow six or seven picks in the first four rounds, you’ve failed.