Patriots NFL Draft History: Trends Since 2000

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Do the Patriots follow any trends when drafting players? Do they favor one conference over another? I take a look at some statistics and trends the Patriots have followed when drafting under Bill Belichick.

Here are the statisitcs on how the Patriots have drafted since the 2000 season.

 Positional Breakdown: 

– Since 2000 the Patriots have selected 110 players in the NFL Draft.

QB – 6  –  Never have selected a QB before round three and for good reason.

RB – 8 – The Patriots have selected a running back in every round of the draft besides the 5th round. Have not had much success, not counting Ridley or Vereen, the RB to last the longest on the Patriots roster was Patrick Pass.

FB – 1 – Not much to say here.

WR – 9 – Haven’t selected a WR in the 1st, 4th or 6th round. Tend to pick WRs in the late 2nd – 3rd round. Also take late round flyers on guys they can project well to the next level.

TE – 11 – Bill Belichick loves his tight ends,  he has taken one in every round of the draft. Has also taken at least one tight end in 9 out of 12 drafts with a gap between 2007-2009 drafts.

OT – 13 – From 2002 – 2008 drafts the Patriots took only four tackles (Kaczur, O’Callaghan, Hilliard, Oldenberg), but have taken five in the last three years.

OG – 5 – It’s very interesting that under Bill Belichick the Patriots have only taken SIX interior offensive lineman out of 110 picks (5.4%). Besides Logan Mankins the earliest an interior lineman has been selected is the 4th round.

OC – 2 (that includes LS Jake Ingram)

DT – 12 – The most likely position to use a 1st round pick on. But since 2004, the Patriots have only selected ONE interior defensive lineman before the 4th round – Ron Brace in 2009.

DE – 6 – The Patriots just don’t take college defensive ends and project them to the same position in the pros. The last time they did it was in 2004 with Marquise Hill.

LB – 12 – Since 2007, the Patriots have taken 12 linebackers. They only have picked a LB in the 1st or 2nd round in two drafts – 2008 and 2010.

CB – 14 – Bill Belichick’s favorite position to draft, the Patriots only have had one draft since the year 2000 where they haven’t selected a defensive back – 2002.

S – 6 – Belichick likes to get his safeties early. Has only taken one safety after the 4th round.

K – 2

P – 1

Draft Trends

–  Since 2000 the Patriots have only selected four players from Non-Division 1 programs (South Carolina St., William Penn, C. Conn. St., Central Arkansas)

– Have only selected ONE defensive player from a Non D1 program, Markell Carter, last year.

– 83 out of the 110 players drafted have come from BCS conferences (75.4%) .. 85 if you count Marcus Cannon and Marcus Williams who played for TCU, a non-BCS conference team, but played in a BCS bowl.

– Bill Belichick has run twelve drafts for the Patriots, in eight of those he has selected more than one player from the same school.
* The combined records of those programs the year of the draft were 76-25, a .752% winning percentage.

– The Patriots have picked the most players from the University of Florida (6). That’s followed by Notre Dame (5), Georgia (4), LSU (4), Virginia and others (3).

Conference Breakdown:

ACC – 11
Big XII – 15
Big East – 8
Big Ten – 12
SEC – 21
Pac 10 – 10
C-USA – 7
Mountain West – 8
WAC – 5
MAC – 3
Independents – 6
Non D1 – 4

– The Patriots have not picked a player from the Sunbelt Conference under Bill Belichick.

– The Patriots have only selected three players from the Big East since Boston College and Miami(FL) departed for the ACC. Darius Butler(UConn), George Bussey(Louisville) and Devin McCourty(Rutgers).

– Have not selected a player from Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin or Virginia Tech under Bill Belchick.

– Have only taken one player from Alabama (Brandon Deaderick, 2010)

– A lot gets made of the Bill Belichick coaching connections, Nick Saban, Pat Hill, Kirk Ferentz. But since 2006 the Patriots have only taken two players from teams coached by Saban, Hill and Ferentz. Mike Elgin from Iowa and Brandon Deaderick from Alabama, both were taken in the seventh round.

– Bill Belichick has relied more on coaches who haven’t coached with him directly, Urban Meyer especially.

Picks by Round 

1st – 11
2nd – 17
3rd – 13
4th – 16
5th – 13
6th – 18
7th – 22

– The Patriots have only used more than one pick in the 1st round ONCE, that is despite owning more than one pick in the first round five times.

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8 Responses to “Patriots NFL Draft History: Trends Since 2000”

  1. @59russo59 says:

    heres my list of who i feel the best draft picks by the pats in the last 10 years have been, by position (I’m bored)

    RB – …Patrick Pass?
    TE – Rob Gronkowski (in hindsight, best 2nd rd steal ever), A. Hernandez
    WR – Deion Branch, Matt Slater (for ST)
    OT – Matt Light, Sebastian Vollmer?*
    OG – Logan Mankins
    DT – Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Myron Pryor?
    DE – Tully Banta-Cain
    LB – Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes?
    CB – Asante Samuel (HUGE 4th rd pick)
    S – James Sanders, Pat Chung?

    *? – the jury is out.

    No amazing runninback drafted in 10 years.
    No gamebreaking WR drafted in last 10 years (i’m spoiled from Moss’ 07 season)
    For the O-Line, lets just be thankful we have Coach Scarneccia.
    For the D-Line, lets just continue to be frustrated on draft day, watching the pats either pass on or miss out on the playmakers.
    2 pretty decent LBs, but it took BB 9 years to start hitting on those. not exactly gamebreaking all-pros. dont get me started on OLBs.

    in conclusion, BB’s chances of snagging that all pro defender are diminished because despite average drafting he finds ways to win more than 12 games a year and always picks at the end of the 1st. heres hoping he packages some picks and trades up and gets some sickass player to help us out…cheers!

    • well the best rb drafted and it hurts to say it was maroney not pass best de was seymour or warren not tbc and best wr`s were branch and david givens who was a damn good football player for the pats and was clutch people forget about him

  2. @59russo59 says:

    funny that BB has picked the most in the LB and CB department, and that neither of these positions are locked down by superb talent. i think that verifies the notion that BB does indeed suck at drafting 9 times out of 10

    • Ken W says:

      Im going to have to disagree with you on this one. Looking at BB draft record, it is pretty good. Especially in the first 2 rounds:

      1st round: 7/11 out of the 11 first round picks 7 have been starters and impact players.

      2nd round: 7/15 7 starters

      Total number of starters BB has drafted: 30

      For a comparison some of the other teams that have been good for the last decade: PIT, BAL, IND, NYG, GB: none of them have over 20. and a few of them were closer the 15. So to say BB sucks at drafting is nuts.

      Does he hit on every guy he picks….no
      The draft is a crap shoot for the most part but BB has I believe the best percentage of finding players in the league so he is doing something right.

  3. Ken W says:

    This is really good stuff. Helps to see what the Pats have done and where they like to look for their players. The coaching connections was the biggest shocker for me, just like everyone else, I thought he has taken a lot more players from Saban and company.

    I was wondering if you guys could break down the LB position a little more? Do they prefer DE’s from college and turn them into OLB? Do they like players that have played in a 3-4 in college? I know I have heard a lot about how BB only drafts OLB that are a certain hight and weight, any truth to that?

    Stuff like that would be interesting to find out a little more about. Really liked the break down, very interesting and learned some neat little facts.

  4. Mark says:

    Well if he takes Fleener at 27 or 31 then we know that Gronk’s injury is worse than stated. His ankle bent pretty far. I’d like to see them take Zeitler for an inner lineman – 48?. I’d like to have 3 center’s going into a season. But I hope BB gets two DT/DE’s – first 2 picks. CBs and Safties are plentyful in round 2.

  5. Bill says:

    Thats a lot of numbers that mean nuttin. Fortunately, we can’t judge him or compare him to anyone because he’s always at the end of the draft. He’s trouble with CB and WR, but his fill in players at end of draft have been good. This year we need a couple LB with SPEED. Guys who drop in to coverage and rush the passer. Acouple names for rds 2-3 mychal Kendricks and Demario Davis. Fast, agile and tough. I like those adjectives

  6. Dan says:

    Great work…

    I would say the most surprising to me is the interior lineman, kind of. It’s been a low value position, but would have figured they would draft more.

    The TE stats are always surprising and frustrating to others, but the team needs 3-4, so it shouldn’t be. And, the real reason it shouldn’t be is because it’s one of the biggest mismatch positions on the field, potentially. An extremely important position, and he’s been looking for years.

    DE is just too hard to project and he, obviously, prefers having film on someone who has done “something” at the pro level already, and has all the measurables etc…That position is just too difficult to project from college to pros; especially if you asking some kid to completely change position and to now play one of most demanding spots in the NFL…DE/OLB for BB.

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