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Will The Patriots Draft a Wide Receiver in the first round?

The Patriots hold the 14th pick in round-1 of April's NFL draft. Will they take a chance on drafting a Wide Receiver there? Based on their past history of selecting WR's they should probably wait until the later rounds to pull the trigger on a pass-catcher.


WR is a position of need, and many draft guru's have them selecting a WR with that first pick. That ought to make fans nervous.


Beginning in 2002, the first year Tom Brady entered a season as a starting QB, and the start of the Belichick/Brady rampage thru the league, Belichick drafted his first WR as a coach of the Patriots. From there he went on to draft 17 WR's thru the next 17 seasons with Brady as the teams QB. It didn't go very well.


Here is a list of the WR's Belichick drafted from 2002 to 2019.


2002

Round 2, Pick 65: Deion Branch Round 7, Pick 253: David Givens


2003

Round 2, Pick 45: WR Bethel Johnson


2004

Round 5, Pick 164: WR P.K. Sam


2006

Round 2, Pick 36: WR Chad Jackson ------------->


2008

Round 5, Pick 153: WR Matthew Slater



2009

Round 3, Pick 83: Brandon Tate Round 7, Pick 232: Julian Edelman


2010

Round 3, Pick 90: Taylor Price


2012

Round 7, Pick 235: WR Jeremy Ebert


2013

Round 2, Pick 59: WR Aaron Dobson Round 4, Pick 102: WR Josh Boyce


2014

Round 7, Pick 244: Jeremy Gallon


2016

Round 4, Pick 112: WR Malcolm Mitchell Round 7, Pick 225: WR Devin Lucien


2018

Round 6 Pick 210: WR Braxton Berrios


2019

Round 1, Pick 32: N’Keal Harry


That is not a very impressive list of talent.

We could go thru the stats for every one of those guys, but I think most fans know that there are quite a few busts in that list.


There are some very solid players as well.

Deion Branch and Julian Edelman are the value picks in that list, and turned-out to be very productive pass-catchers.


Matt Slater had one career reception, but gave them Pro Bowl caliber special teams play for many years. For a 5th-round pick I'd have to say he was well worth that selection.


In 20007 they traded their 4th-round pick for Randy Moss. He caught 50 touchdown passes in his 3+ seasons with the team. In two of those seasons he led the league in TD receptions. Obviously that 4th-round draft pick was well worth the trade.


They also signed two un-drafted receivers after the 2013 and 2019 drafts.

In 2013 it was Kenbrell Thompkins, in 2019 Jakobe Myers.

They didn't get much out of Thompkins, but Myers is still on the team for now. He's expected to get some pretty decent offers as a free agent, and the Patriots are probably not going to offer what others do. For an un-drafted guy, Belichick definitely got value from Myers without using a draft pick to get him.


Again, there were some good players in that bunch, but as a whole the team hasn't been very effective in judging college talent and how it will translate to the NFL when it comes to WR's.


From 2003 to 2019, the Patriots drafted eight wide receivers in the first four rounds. None of them finished their rookie contracts with the team.


The part that's really tough to stomach is the talent they missed on when they selected the guy they thought was the best of what was available, only to look back and see that there were studs they could have drafted but didn't.


Anquan Boldin was the next receiver taken after Bethel Johnson.

Greg Jennings was taken with the pick the Patriots traded to get Chad Jackson.

Mike Wallace was taken one pick after Brandon Tate.

Keenan Allen was taken two receivers after Aaron Dobson.

A.J. Brown was taken two receivers after N’Keal Harry, and the Patriots traded out of the slot Seattle used to select Metcalf.


There are some stomach-churning misses there.


So, would it be wise for the team to roll the dice another receiver they feel is worth a first-round pick?

Only time will tell, but I have a feeling they don't take one in round-1.

But, if they are going to draft one at #14, perhaps they should draft the guy the feel is the 2nd-best receiver available.











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