Patriots' best draft picks over the last 30 years by round

Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots
Wild Card Round - Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

Not many of the best picks have been made recently; although Kyle Dugger is pretty good, the last few draft classes have lacked star power. Christian Gonzalez might have it, but he needs to play an entire season before anyone can commit to that evaluation.

First round – Richard Seymour 

It could have been Seymour’s fellow Hall-of-Famer Ty Law, but playing cornerback is easy, right? Well, it’s easier than getting knocked about by massive offensive linemen anyway. Plus, Seymour won three rings in eight years in New England compared to Law’s in 10 seasons. He was the sixth overall pick in 2001. 

Seymour was traded to the Raiders (then of Oakland), and he helped Mark Davis in his search for a new head coach. It looks like they’ve hired a good one too. When he’s not helping out clueless owners, Seymour plays professional poker “as a hobby.” How rock and roll is that? 

Second round – Rob Gronkowski 

You remember this guy, right? He’s 6 feet 6 inches tall, started 116 games for the Patriots, and caught 719 passes. He won three Super Bowl rings as a Patriot and one as a Buccaneer (and they’ve only won two in their entire history).

Sure, you remember him, he’s on TV sometimes. Gronkowski was the 42nd overall pick in the 2010 draft; He had quite the career for a second-rounder. 

Third round – Tedy Bruschi 

As if Bruschi wasn’t enough of a legend, he made a Lazarus-like comeback after suffering an ischemic stroke. He was diagnosed with the condition on the 15th of February 2005, and after announcing he would sit out the season, Bruschi returned to the field on October 30th!

As if that wasn’t remarkable enough, during his diagnosis, doctors discovered he had a congenital heart defect. But that didn’t prevent him from winning Comeback Player of the Year and playing for three more seasons in the league. He was the 86th overall pick in the 1996 draft. 

Fourth round – Stephen Gostkowski  

Kicker might not be the most glamourous position, and Gostkowski may not even be the Patriots’ most noteworthy kicker (Adam Vinatieri’s great-great-grandfather was George Custer’s bandleader during the Civil War).

But Gostkowski is still the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer. Gostkowski was the 118th pick in 2006 and went on to play 232 games for the Patriots. 

Fifth round – Dan Koppen 

Dan Koppen owns a brewery in Rhode Island, but that’s not why he made this list (it didn’t hurt, though). Koppen spent nine years in the middle of the Patriots offensive line. He was the guy who snapped the ball to Tom Brady, so TB12 (more on him later) could work his magic.

Any good structure is built on a solid foundation, and Koppen certainly gave the Patriots offense a solid foundation. The 164th overall pick in 2003 played 135 games for the Patriots and won two rings. 

Sixth round – Tom Brady 

You knew it was coming.

There’s not much to say that you don’t already know. He was the 199th overall pick in 2000. Brady played 326 games as a Patriot, winning 249 or 76% of them!

Oh yeah, and he won six rings. That's not bad for someone who only started for two seasons while he was in Michigan.  

Seventh round – Julian Edelman 

Edelman was the 232nd overall pick in 2009. He would proceed to spend the next 11 years in New England!

Throughout his career, he caught 620 passes for the Patriots and racked up 6,822 receiving yards. Not bad for someone who told coaches he was a punt returner in college just to make sure they signed him.

He was, in fact, not a punt returner in college. It all worked out in the end, though, and Edelman returned 94 punts as a Patriot! 

Special mention Undrafted Free Agent – Adam Vinatieri 

Ok, so he wasn’t technically drafted, but the Patriots were Vinatieri’s first NFL team. He signed as a free agent after playing in the World League of American Football for the Amsterdam Admirals in 1996! He played 177 games for the Patriots and won three rings. 

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