It’s now June in 2010 – after three seasons, many feel that one can accurately assess the success of a particular NFL Draft class. When a certain group of fans and media pundits look back at the 2007 NFL Draft for the New England Patriots, many see one of the worst drafts in history. We are not members of that group. Here are some notes on how each of the picks ended up.
1st Round (24) – Brandon Meriweather
Meriweather has been a tantalizing player for the Patriots – alternately great and ghastly. Overall, he has been a player that has improved each year and looks to have a solid future. (Update: The Patriots released the former Pro Bowl safety before the 2011 NFL Season.)
Hindsight Pick: Meriweather
1st Round (28) – Traded
This pick has given the Patriots a lot of value. In exchange for the 28th pick, the Patriots received pick #110 (Traded for Randy Moss) and San Francisco’s 1st Rounder the next year – which resulted in the selections of the spectacular Jerod Mayo and the disappointing Shawn Crable after a trade down.
2nd Round (60) – Traded
The Patriots used this pick to trade for Wes Welker, formerly of the Miami Dolphins. That worked out okay.
3rd Round (91) – Traded
The Patriots received a 7th round pick (Oscar Lua) and a 2008 3rd round pick, which was later turned into Ron Brace and Matthew Slater through a series of trades.
Hindsight: Kevin Boss, Tight End
4th Round (127) – Kareem Brown
Brown was not a good fit for the Patriots. Marginal skills and a poor work ethic led to his pre-season release.
Hindsight: Steve Breaston, Wide Receiver
Seven players were drafted by the Patriots in these rounds, with only one ever seeing any legitimate playing time (Richardson). The paucity of talent found in the other players in these rounds speaks to overall talent level of the 2007 NFL Draft. It is very possible that the Patriots were unable to unload these picks, as no team wanted to trade up.
Hindsight: Out of the 120+ selections in the 5th-7th rounds, Legedu Naanee, Brent Celek, Pierre Thomas (UDFA) and David Clowney are the only players that would have had a chance to make the 2008 Patriots roster.
Overall Draft Grade: A
The Patriots landed four Pro Bowl players directly or indirectly from this draft (Mayo, Moss, Welker, Meriweather), so it is very tough to give them bad marks. The poor results of the late rounds is definitely off-set by the utter void of good players available. The 2007 Draft set the Patriots up to compete for the Super Bowl for the next five years.