What Bill Belichick has done with the Patriots’ first round draft picks

May 9, 2014 8:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s a running joke that Bill Belichick likes to trade out of the first round of the NFL Draft, acquiring a larger number of late-round picks. This joke depends on his identity as something of a passionless rogue thinker. So after he used his first round draft pick last night to draft an actual football player, I decided to look back at his history as Head Coach (and de facto General Manager) of the New England Patriots. Here’s the full list of what he did with first round picks:

  • 2000 (#16): Sent to Jets as compensation for his own hiring
  • 2001 (#6): Drafted Richard Seymour
  • 2002 (#32): Traded up to #21, drafted Dan Graham
  • 2003 (#14): Acquired via trade for Drew Bledsoe, traded up to #13, drafted Ty Warren
  • 2003 (#19): Traded down to 2nd round plus 2004 1st round
  • 2004 (#21): Acquired via above trade, drafted Vince Wilfork
  • 2004 (#32): Drafted Ben Watson
  • 2005 (#32): Drafted Logan Mankins
  • 2006 (#21): Drafted Lawrence Maroney
  • 2007 (#28): Traded down to 4th round plus 2008 1st round
  • 2008 (#7): Acquired via above trade, traded down to #10, drafted Jerod Mayo
  • 2008 (#31): Forfeited as penalty for SpyGate
  • 2009 (#23): Traded down to #26 plus 5th round, then traded those for a 2nd and two 3rds
  • 2010 (#22): Traded down to #24, then again to #27, drafted Devin McCourty
  • 2011 (#17): Acquired via trade for Richard Seymour, drafted Nate Solder
  • 2011 (#28): Traded down to 2nd round plus 2012 1st round
  • 2012 (#27): Acquired via above trade, traded up to #21, drafted Chandler Jones
  • 2012 (#31): Traded up to #25, drafted Dont’a Hightower
  • 2013 (#29): Traded down for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th round picks
  • 2014 (#29): Drafted Dominique Easley

So in the past fifteen drafts, he’s drafted 13 players in the first round (including 2 after trading downward within the round and 4 after trading upward) and got out of the first round entirely 5 times. Draw whatever conclusion you like, but that doesn’t seem like a particularly strong trend to me. From 2007-2011, however, he traded down or out with 5 of their 6 picks — I wonder if that’s where this reputation originated.

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This post was written by Plutor

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