As of right now, Coach Bill Belichick has nine picks in the 2015 draft, including a potential third-round compensatory pick from letting free agent Aquib Talib walk: First, Second, two Thirds, two Fourths, Sixth, and two Sevenths.

Last year’s draft had some ups and downs. Early yet to see what first-rounder Dominique Easley can add to the defense, or what second round pick Jimmy Garoppolo can bring at quarterback (either at Gillette or as trade bait – not sure even William Hill has odds on which it will be). That said, any 2014 pick still on the roster will be treated as a success until further notice.

First Round –

2000: None (pick went to NYJ for BB)

2001: Richard Seymour, DL, Georgia

2002: Dan Graham, TE, Colorado

2003: Ty Warren, DL, Texas A&M

2004: Vince Wilfork, DL, Miami; Benjamin Watson, TE, Georgia

2005: Logan Mankins, OL, Fresno State

2006: Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota

2007: Brandon Meriweather, DB, Miami

2008: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee

2009: (No Pick – traded down)

2010: Devin McCourty, DB, Rutgers

2011: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

2012: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse; Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

2013: (No Pick – traded down)

2014: Dominique Easley, DL, Florida

Total Picks: 14

Successful Picks: 12 (sans Maroney, Meriweather)

Most Successful Pick: Seymour

Percentage: 86

Every Patriots First-Round pick has started for the Patriots; though neither Maroney nor Meriweather could be considered a true bust, each went by the wayside too quickly for us to deem a success. The noteworthy impact that Jones and Hightower have had in Foxboro has helped improve the defense to their championship level.

If you take out 2005-2007 (Mankins, Maroney, and Meriweather – again, all starters), every other pick has at least one Super Bowl win. New England’s top picks tend to a) stick around, and b) play.

Second Round –

2000: Adrian Klemm, OT, Hawaii

2001: Matt Light, OT, Purdue

2002: Deion Branch, WR, Louisville

2003: Eugene Wilson, DB, Illinois; Bethel Johnson, WR, Texas A&M

2004: Marquise Hill, DE, LSU

2005: (No pick)

2006: Chad Jackson, WR, Florida

2007: (No pick – traded for Wes Welker)

2008: Terrence Wheatley, DB, Colorado

2009: Patrick Chung, DB, Oregon; Ron Brace, DT, BC; Darius Butler, DB, UConn; Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston

2010: Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona; Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida; Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida.

2011: Ras-I Dowling, DB, Virginia; Shane Vereen, RB, California

2012: Tavon Wilson, DB, Illinois

2013: Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss; Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall

2014: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Total Picks: 20

Successful Picks: 11 (Light, Branch, E. Wilson, Vollmer, Gronkowski, Spikes, Vereen, T. Wilson, Collins, Garoppolo, Chung*)

Most Successful Pick: Light

Percentage: 55

*Chung returns to the successful list after getting left off last year. Dobson stays off for now, but he could find himself back on the list if he contributes to the 2015 squad.

When you start out grading at a B-plus, it’s tough to get down to what your teacher would considered an F. But this is statistics class, and the professor grades on a curve. The Patriots tend to take some chances here (i.e., ignore common knowledge) in terms of rankings, resulting in lesser-known players sometimes failing to reach Round Two expectations (Tavon Wilson) or exceeding them (Vollmer). They look past college injuries, which got them Dowling and Wheatley, but it also got them Gronk. So maybe that ends that debate right there.

The best argument for bucking convention? On the one hand, you have Jamie Collins, a college defensive end from a winless Southern Miss squad; on the other hand, trading up to get the consensus best receiver of the 2006 draft resulted in Chad Jackson.

And the Pats don’t win this year without Collins, Vereen, and Gronk.

Third Round –

2000: J. R. Redmond, RB, Arizona State

2001: Brock Williams, DB, Notre Dame

2002: (No pick)

2003: (No pick)

2004: Guss Scott, DB, Florida

2005: Ellis Hobbs III, CB, Iowa State; Nick Kaczur, OL, Toledo

2006: David Thomas, TE, Texas

2007: (No pick)

2008: Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan; Kevin O’Connell, QB, San Diego State

2009: Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina; Tyrone McKenzie, LB, South Florida

2010: Taylor Price, WR, Ohio

2011: Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU; Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

2012: Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas

2013: Logan Ryan, DB, Rutgers; Duron Harmon, DB, Rutgers

2014: (No pick)

Total Picks: 16

Successful Picks: 6 (Hobbs, Kaczur, Ridley, Mallett, Ryan, Harmon)

Most Successful Pick: Ridley

Percentage: 38

Ryan and Harmon help keep this round respectable after some expectedly inconsistent picks. (We still think keeping Brandon Tate in favor of Chad Ochocinco in 2011 would have worked out better for the team.) Price didn’t work out, adding to the idea of playing Roulette Receiver in Foxboro: some guys get it, some don’t.

Quick Third Round snapshot? Defensive back and running back, sure. Wide receiver? If you’re feeling lucky, Bill Belichick.

Fourth Round –

2000: Greg Robinson-Randall, OT, Michigan State

2001: Kenyatta Jones, OT, South Florida; Jabari Holloway, TE, Notre Dame

2002: Rohan Davey, QB, LSU; Jarvis Green, DE, LSU

2003: Dan Klecko, DL, Temple; Asante Samuel, CB, Central Florida

2004: Dexter Reid, DB, North Carolina; Cedric Cobbs, RB, Arkansas

2005: James Sanders, DB, Fresno State

2006: Garrett Mills, FB, Tulsa; Stephen Gostkowski, K, Memphis

2007: Kareem Brown, DL, Miami

2008: Jonathan Wilhite, DB, Auburn

2009: Rich Ohrnberger, OL, Penn State

2010: The Tight End Who Shan’t Be Named, Florida

2011: (No Pick)

2012: (No Pick)

2013: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU

2014: Bryan Stork, OL, Florida State; James White, RB, Wisconsin; Cameron Fleming, OL, Stanford

Total Picks: 20

Successful Picks: 8 (Green, Samuel, Sanders, Gostkowski, Boyce, Stork, White, Fleming)

Most Successful Pick: Gostkowski

Percentage: 40

Gostkowski took Samuel’s place last year, but we’re going with Stork now. Worth an argument, but Stork’s ability to settle down the O-line on one of the Patriots’ most versatile squads puts him on top.

After trading away picks for two straight years, then Boyce, the Pats crushed it in 2014, bringing their Round Four percentage up from 29 percent to 40. We’re keeping Boyce on the list due to lesser expectations that those on Dobson (second-rounder); plus, Boyce’s athleticism could still get him a spot. Interesting to see what White can do next year.

Fifth Round – 

2000: Dave Stachelski, TE, Boise State; Jeff Marriott, DT, Missouri

2001: Hakim Akbar, DB, Washington

2002: (No pick)

2003: Dan Koppen, OL, Boston College

2004: P. K. Sam, WR, Florida State

2005: Ryan Claridge, OLB, UNLV

2006: Ryan O’Callaghan, OL, California

2007: Clint Oldenburg, OL, Colorado State

2008: Matthew Slater, WR, UCLA

2009: George Bussey, OL, Louisville

2010: Zoltan Mesko, P, Michigan

2011: Marcus Cannon, OL, TCU; Lee Smith, TE, Marshall

2012: (No pick)

2013: (No pick)

2014: (No pick)

Total Picks: 13

Successful Picks: 4 (Koppen, Slater, Mesko, Cannon)

Most Successful Pick: Koppen

Percentage: 31

As we say every year: We used to call Round Five “Koppen or Bust.” Now, with Slater and Mesko, we can name it “The Special Teams Round.” Cannon ended a rough streak of failed O-linemen. A middling success rate for a middling round; however, hard to overlook the impact of the solid selections.

Once again, the Patriots have no fifth-rounder this year (traded away for Jonathan “Confetti Man” Casillas). Considering how well they’ve done recently in other rounds, they may want to maintain their status and avoid the Fifth.

Sixth Round –

2000: Antwan Harris, CB, Virginia; Tom Brady, QB, Michigan; David Nugent, DT, Purdue.

2001: Arther Love, TE, South Carolina State; Leonard Myers, DB, Miami

2002: (No pick)

2003: Kliff Kingsbury, QB, Texas Tech

2004: (No pick)

2005: (No pick)

2006: Jeremy Mincey, OLB, Florida; Dan Stevenson, OL, Notre Dame; LeKevin Smith, DL, Nebraska

2007: Justin Rogers, OLB, SMU; Justise Hairston, RB, Central Connecticut; Corey Hilliard, OL, Oklahoma State

2008: Bo Ruud, OLB, Nebraska

2009: Jake Ingram, LS, Hawaii; Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky

2010: Ted Larsen, C, NC State

2011: Markell Carter, DE, Central Arkansas

2012: Nate Ebner, DB, Ohio State

2013: (No Pick)

2014: John Halapio, OL, Florida; Zach Moore, DE, Concordia

Total Picks: 20

Successful Picks: 4 (Brady, Pryor, Ebner, Moore)

Most Successful Pick: One guess

Percentage: 20

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Brady Round. (Do you hear harps and angels? I think I hear harps and angels.)

Ebner continues to contribute on special teams, while Moore showed some promise as a pass-rusher. After several years of consistent meh, New England has hit on two out of three, with a pair of sixth-rounders this year. Can’t ask for much more from this late in the draft.

I mean, Tom Freaking Brady, for God’s sake.

Seventh Round – 

2000: Casey Tisdale, OLB, New Mexico; Patrick Pass, RB, Georgia

2001: Owen Pochman, K, BYU; T. J. Turner, LB, Michigan State

2002: Antwoine Womack, RB, Virginia; David Givens, WR, Notre Dame

2003: Spencer Nead, TE, BYU; Tully Banta-Cain, LB, California; Ethan Kelley, NT, Baylor

2004: Christian Morton, CB, Florida State

2005: Matt Cassel, QB, Southern California; Andy Stokes, TE, William Penn

2006: Willie Andrews, DB, Baylor

2007: Oscar Lua, LB, Southern California; Mike Elgin, OL, Iowa

2008: (No pick)

2009: Julian Edelman, WR, Kent State; Darryl Richardson, DT, Georgia Tech

2010: Thomas Welch, OT, Vanderbilt; Brandon Deaderick, DL, Alabama; Kade Weston, DL, Georgia; Zac Robinson, QB, Oklahoma State

2011: Malcolm Williams, CB, TCU

2012: Alfonso Dennard, DB, Nebraska; Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern

2013: Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois; Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

2014: Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan

Total Picks: 27 (or almost two per year)

Successful Picks: 9 (Pass, Givens, Banta-Cain, Cassel, Edelman, Deaderick, Williams, Dennard, Buchanan)

Most Successful Pick: Edelman

Percentage: 33

I remember when New England drafted Julian Edelman. I had never heard of him. Ever since then, I scour NFLDraftScout.com for college QBs who could convert to wide receiver. Haven’t found one quite like him yet.

Hey now: 27 picks in 15 years? Why not? It’s a low-risk pick with potential, where some players who failed to rate as successes here still contributed in the short term (Beauharnais, Richardson, Andrews).

UDFAs

The Patriots seem to have a knack for finding roster-worthy prospects after the last name gets called on draft weekend. Some past undrafted free agents who contributed: Stephen Neal, OL; Tom Ashworth, OL; Eric Alexander, LB; Randall Gay, DB; Wesley Britt, OL; Antwain Spann, CB; Kyle Eckel, RB; Santonio Thomas, DL: Mike Wright, DL; Corey Mays, LB; Pierre Woods, OLB; BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB; Vince Redd, OLB, Tyson Devree, TE; Gary Guyton, LB; Brian Hoyer, QB; Ray Ventrone, DB.

Some UDFAs on the roster now: Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech; Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss; Josh Kline, OL, Kent State; Joe Vellano, DL, Maryland; some guy named Malcolm Butler, CB, West Alabama.

Our advice on watching the Patriot’s draft? Skip Round One the evening of April 30 (or tune in at the very end to potentially watch the Patriots trade down), check out the beginning of Day Two (Round Two), then wait until Saturday evening to see whom they select with their seventh-round pick. And by all means, keep track of undrafted free agents. There might be a Butler somewhere among them.

Chris Warner wastes time on Twitter @cwarn89

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16 thoughts on “Round-By-Round Review, Pats Draft 2015

    1. He’s probably grading guys as a success if they stuck on the roster and saw some playing time. It’s not a bad criteria when you consider that the Patriots are, year in and year out, one of the best teams in the NFL and don’t have all that many roster spots available for rookies. Naturally, there are varying degrees of what we’d call “successful” picks. Harmon and Ryan have been up and down, but both have also shown ability and ball-hawking skills. Easley showed flashes this season but it was clear almost from the get-go that 2014 would be a “medical redshirt” year for him as he worked his way back from the second torn ACL. Boyce and White are still hanging around…..I know Boyce is probably the fastest WR they have on the roster or practice squad, so they probably aren’t ready to give up on him yet. White may very well get his shot in 2015 if Vereen gets an offer he can’t refuse from some other team. And well, Jimmy G. is going to be the next legendary QB around here, right? (I’d settle for Steve Grogan version 2.0).

      1. I’m not calling them busts or giving up on them potentially being successful picks. But labeling them as successful picks at this point is ridiculous. White hasn’t seen the field. Boyce was waived at the end of this year’s preseason before being signed to the practice squad. Garoppolo has played garbage time and (I hope) might never see real playing time with this team before his contract ends. Ryan, Harmon, and Easley have been up and down in limited playing time. I agree that there are varying levels of success. But sticking on the roster for a season or two and not being god awful — that’s an absurd standard for success. Chris Warner should have just had a third category for this review: jury still out.

        1. Yes, not sure why Boyce is a success without contributing at all in two years while JR Redmond is not on the good list after his fairly productive 1st two years in the league and contributions to a Super Bowl win.

          1. Good call. Redmond should be a pass solely for his contributions on the game winning drive in SB 36.

    2. Josh Boyce is on the practice squad. Might want to edit him as a successful pick, considering that any team could just take him if they wanted to.

  1. Sports Radio version of this list:

    First round: ALL WASTED.
    Second round: ALL WASTED.
    Third round: ALL WASTED.
    Fourth round: ALL WASTED.
    Fifth round: ALL WASTED.
    Sixth round: ALL WASTED
    Seventh round: ALL WASTED.

    If Bill the GM doesn’t give Brady some weapons RIGHT NOW in this draft, there’s no way this team as constituted can win a Super Bowl, Mike.

    1. It’s been over 2 WEEKS since the Pats last won the Super Bowl, how much longer can the window stay open??

    1. I was not impressed with this article. Ironically, Underhill seems to share the belief of Felger and others that Montana-Young and Favre-Rodgers were an elaborate succession plan. Not the case. Montana had a serious spinal injury in the 1986 season and his future was in doubt when Young was acquired in 1987. Favre had been hinting at retirement and performing poorly in the playoffs for years when Rodgers was drafted in 2005. In contrast, Brady has no injury or performance concerns. Given Brady’s history of durability, the current protection of QB’s, and Brady’s stated desire to play as long as possible, I think it’s a safe bet that he will play into his 40’s. I think Jimmy G was an awful pick. Belichick had already wasted 3rd round picks on Kevin O’Connell and Ryan Mallet. He had also found good backups with the 7th round Matt Cassell and undrafted Bryan Hoyer. Another overlooked aspect of the Montana and Fave situations is the controversy and acrimony that followed. Even though both franchises had long term success, to have a bitter parting of ways with a historically great player is not desirable. I think Brady will still be playing at a high level when Jimmy G’s rookie contract runs out. The next starting QB of the Patriots is most likely the QB Belichick drafts in 2017 when Jimmy G is entering the last year of his contract.

      1. The Gold Standard: “The quarterback class in this year’s NFL draft is viewed by media analysts as somewhat underwhelming, which one could say makes the Patriots’ selection of Jimmy Garoppolo in the 2014 second round that much more shrewd. If the Patriots didn’t select Garoppolo, they’d probably be in the free-agent market at the position this year and forced to use valuable salary cap space on the No. 2 spot (where the average annual salary for a top backup can be anywhere from $2 million to $4 million) when they need all the space possible to re-sign Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and Stephen Gostkowski, among others. My early sense is that if Garoppolo (base salary of $578,359 in 2015) was in this year’s draft, he might rank as the third-best player at the position. “

  2. The Gold Standard writes: “Two in-season trades that the Patriots made look even better now that the team won the Super Bowl, and the clubs they dealt with bottomed out. New England dealt a fifth-round pick to Tampa Bay in exchange for linebacker Jonathan Casillas and a sixth-round pick. Casillas gave the Patriots strong special-teams play and quality linebacker depth, and consider that with the Patriots picking 32nd in each round and the Buccaneers first, they hardly gave up anything (there will be a minor gap after compensatory picks are awarded next month). Then there was the deal with Tennessee in which the Patriots gave up a sixth-round pick in exchange for linebacker Akeem Ayers and a seventh-rounder. Ayers was impressive in a sub-rushing role and added linebacker depth, and consider that with the Patriots picking 32nd in each round and the Titans second, they again hardly gave up anything. A team can’t really draw up two trades better than that. ”

    …Bill the GM…

    1. Yup. This is the kind of breakdown that you just don’t get from a lot of self-described “unbiased” Boston sports media members. And these trades are a PERFECT illustration of why BB and the Patriots have sustained excellence for almost 15 straight seasons and teams like the Bucs and Titans haven’t been able to get out of their own way in the same time span.

  3. The problem with your pass/fail system is that it artificially inflates the success rate of the draft results. Also, how does Boyce pass when he was released at the end of training camp this season? That’s the team admitting it wasn’t a good pick. No one else wanted him and the Pats signed him to the practice squad. That’s a success?

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