Ranking Patriots' last 10 first-round draft picks

Minnesota Vikings v New England Patriots
Minnesota Vikings v New England Patriots / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages
4 of 5

#4. RB Sony Michel (31st overall in 2018)

Despite being part of the questionable 2018 draft class along with Isaiah Wynn, Sony Michel's time in New England is not remembered as harshly, mainly because of his significant importance to the Patriots' final Championship run.

He impressed his rookie season, as he joined forces with James White in the backfield, who had already earned his Super Bowl hero title. Michel went on to record 209 carries for 931 yards and six touchdowns in the regular season and continued that work throughout the postseason.

Michel became Tom Brady's primary backfield target, carrying the football 24 times in their first playoff game that season against the Chargers for 129 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that incredible performance with another against the Chiefs the following week, recording 29 carries for 113 yards and two scores.

He remained as valuable as ever in the Patriots' Super Bowl win over the Rams to end the 2018 season, and because of his integral role in their final championship run, Michel will always be remembered fondly in New England.

The 2019 season was similar in production for the running back, but after that, he began taking a backseat to the new players who were added to the backfield, resulting in him being traded to the Rams in 2021. Although his time as a Patriot was short-lived, his contributions to the team's sixth Lombardi make him one of the better draft picks of the last ten years.

#3. DE Chandler Jones (21st overall in 2012)

The first of two tremendous first-round picks by the Patriots in 2012, the selection of defensive end Chandler Jones helped instill a fearful defense in New England once again.

Jones was a force from the start, racking up six sacks his rookie season only to nearly double that just a year later. He helped lead the charge in what was well on its way to becoming one of the better defenses in the league, inevitably assisting the team in Super Bowl XLIX.

The 2015 season was a standout year for Jones, where he showcased his domination with a career-high 12.5 sacks, an interception, four forced fumbles, and 18 quarterback hits. His performance that year earned him his first Pro Bowl selection, leaving no doubt about his worth to the team as he approached the end of his rookie contract.

Unfortunately, he would do that with the Cardinals instead of the Patriots, as Belichick traded the defensive end after an incident while the team was in the midst of the playoffs.

He went on to have an incredible career in Arizona, earning three more Pro Bowl honors and leading the league in sacks with 17 in 2017, making it look like it was a significant mistake to move on from him when they did.