Patriots Drafts, 2018-2022

Flagg the Wanderer

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Disaster! It's common knowledge that these drafts were disasters.

2018:
  • Isaiah Wynn
  • Sony Michel
  • Duke Dawson
  • Ju'Whaun Bentley
  • Braxton Berrios
Assuming Wynn doesn't disappear, and Dawson continues his resurrection, that's 5 legit NFLers. But 3-5 in any case.

2019:
  • Chase Winovich
  • Damian Harris
  • Yodney Cajuste
  • Jarrett Stidham
  • Jake Bailey
Looks like Stidham will stick around the NFL for a journeyman backup career, and Winovich seems like he has a home. 5 legit NFLers.

2020:
  • Kyle Dugger
  • Josh Uche
  • Anfernee Jennings
  • Michael Onwenu
  • Justin Herron
Still early, but it looks like Dugger & Onwenu are solid, Uche & Jennings likely. If they would only play Herron at LT, he seems to be a serviceable backup. 3 to 5 NFLers.

2021:
  • Mac Jones
  • Christian Barmore
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Joshuah Bledsoe
  • Tre Nixon
...and possibly Perkins and/or McGrone. 4-7 NFLers.

2022:
Still early, but looking pretty good so far.

How many GMs can match this record, honestly? And those years were a disaster!
 

chevss454

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Disaster! It's common knowledge that these drafts were disasters.

2018:
  • Isaiah Wynn
  • Sony Michel
  • Duke Dawson
  • Ju'Whaun Bentley
  • Braxton Berrios
Assuming Wynn doesn't disappear, and Dawson continues his resurrection, that's 5 legit NFLers. But 3-5 in any case.

2019:
  • Chase Winovich
  • Damian Harris
  • Yodney Cajuste
  • Jarrett Stidham
  • Jake Bailey
Looks like Stidham will stick around the NFL for a journeyman backup career, and Winovich seems like he has a home. 5 legit NFLers.

2020:
  • Kyle Dugger
  • Josh Uche
  • Anfernee Jennings
  • Michael Onwenu
  • Justin Herron
Still early, but it looks like Dugger & Onwenu are solid, Uche & Jennings likely. If they would only play Herron at LT, he seems to be a serviceable backup. 3 to 5 NFLers.

2021:
  • Mac Jones
  • Christian Barmore
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Joshuah Bledsoe
  • Tre Nixon
...and possibly Perkins and/or McGrone. 4-7 NFLers.

2022:
Still early, but looking pretty good so far.

How many GMs can match this record, honestly? And those years were a disaster!

Good breakdown, Flagg.

Every team has whiffs and that's just a fact in the NFL. In fact, most picks across the league don't work out. Whether they’re busts, didn’t live up to their draft position, had injury or off-field issues or never rose above backup status, most draft picks turn out to be a disappointment on some level or don’t make much of a difference in the team’s success. There was a 20 year study done by Warren Ludford/ProFootballReference that showed how draft prospects from '96-'16 turned out that showed:
  • 16.7% didn’t play for the team that drafted them
  • 37% were considered useless. They either didn’t play much or didn’t make the team.
  • 15.3% were considered poor. Had limited playing time and didn’t do well in the time they had.
  • 10.5% were considered average. These are mediocre players that had starts or significant contributions over 2-3 years.
  • 12.3% were considered good. These could be mediocre or average players that were multi-year starters, Ryan Tannehill for example, or perhaps some genuinely good players that didn’t last all that long for the team that drafted them, Andrew Luck for example. This is where the AV metric can over-rate a player based on the number of starts, rather than their performance while on the field.
  • 6.9% were considered Great. This category is the first that includes undeniably good draft picks. In order to be considered great, they would’ve had to play for the team that drafted them into a second contract, and also performed well over those years.
  • 1% were considered legendary. These are future Hall of Famers, multi-year All-Pros among the best in the league for most of their relatively long careers.
And so only about 8% of draft picks are players that really make much of a difference beyond replacement value, and only about 30% were considered average or better than average.

That means among the 260 or so drafted players each year, only about 2-3 will have Hall of Fame caliber careers, and only about 21 will be good picks or very good but not HoF caliber players.

Perspective matters and overall, only about two dozen players every draft will go on to have significant careers performing at a high level. That’s less than one genuinely good player per team each year.

Another study done by the 33rd Team from 2010-2017 shows those numbers haven't changed.

The NFL draft is a luck driven process. Scouting and evaluating players is the easy part. The more difficult part is developing the players that you drafted. How well players respond to coaching are part of the factors that are difficult to assess pre-draft. How much work and discipline a player will exhibit after being handed millions can be an issue too. Player development may also be affected by coaching ability, team culture, and fit in the particular scheme. Off field issues, drop outs and injuries keep cropping up for every team; Malcolm Mitchell's injuries and Aaron Hernandez's evil doing, for example. Every team has these issues. Then you have the mental & determination ("heart") aspects of a prospect to decipher. It's not easy but psych testing is being used by more and more teams each year. It's crucial to see through the "coached" responses given by draftees. BB is considered exceptional at interviewing prospects.

So the real question for me is how the Pats are doing compared to the other 31.
Here's a graph from PFF for 2018-2021 that shows the Patriots have drafted quite well despite all the criticism leveled at BB over the last few years.
It shows the criticism is unfounded.
The Pats come in 3rd best in the league. Our 2022 draft should move us up over Cleveland.

FY1rbm4XwAMo7Zs


This supports your assessment by showing that BB's bad years drafting still get an A when compared to the rest of the league.
 
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TipRoast

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So the real question for me is how the Pats are doing compared to the other 31.
True for most of us, I think.

Some other takeaways from that chart:
  • Teams that have been kept competitive by having a franchise QB: Steelers and Packers.
  • The Rams are a surprise in the top half - wouldn't have guessed that.
  • The Jets make every other team look good.
 

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Now take it on back through 2012……..
 
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Flagg the Wanderer

Flagg the Wanderer

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Not very impressive...lotsa whiffs. Not gonna lie.
All drafts have some whiffs. Even good drafts are often more than 50% whiffs. 1-2 starters and 1-2 contributors every year is really good work.
Good breakdown, Flagg.

Every team has whiffs and that's just a fact in the NFL. In fact, most picks across the league don't work out. Whether they’re busts, didn’t live up to their draft position, had injury or off-field issues or never rose above backup status, most draft picks turn out to be a disappointment on some level or don’t make much of a difference in the team’s success. There was a 20 year study done by Warren Ludford/ProFootballReference that showed how draft prospects from '96-'16 turned out that showed:
  • 16.7% didn’t play for the team that drafted them
  • 37% were considered useless. They either didn’t play much or didn’t make the team.
  • 15.3% were considered poor. Had limited playing time and didn’t do well in the time they had.
  • 10.5% were considered average. These are mediocre players that had starts or significant contributions over 2-3 years.
  • 12.3% were considered good. These could be mediocre or average players that were multi-year starters, Ryan Tannehill for example, or perhaps some genuinely good players that didn’t last all that long for the team that drafted them, Andrew Luck for example. This is where the AV metric can over-rate a player based on the number of starts, rather than their performance while on the field.
  • 6.9% were considered Great. This category is the first that includes undeniably good draft picks. In order to be considered great, they would’ve had to play for the team that drafted them into a second contract, and also performed well over those years.
  • 1% were considered legendary. These are future Hall of Famers, multi-year All-Pros among the best in the league for most of their relatively long careers.
And so only about 8% of draft picks are players that really make much of a difference beyond replacement value, and only about 30% were considered average or better than average.

That means among the 260 or so drafted players each year, only about 2-3 will have Hall of Fame caliber careers, and only about 21 will be good picks or very good but not HoF caliber players.

Perspective matters and overall, only about two dozen players every draft will go on to have significant careers performing at a high level. That’s less than one genuinely good player per team each year.

Another study done by the 33rd Team from 2010-2017 shows those numbers haven't changed.

The NFL draft is a luck driven process. Scouting and evaluating players is the easy part. The more difficult part is developing the players that you drafted. How well players respond to coaching are part of the factors that are difficult to assess pre-draft. How much work and discipline a player will exhibit after being handed millions can be an issue too. Player development may also be affected by coaching ability, team culture, and fit in the particular scheme. Off field issues, drop outs and injuries keep cropping up for every team; Malcolm Mitchell's injuries and Aaron Hernandez's evil doing, for example. Every team has these issues. Then you have the mental & determination ("heart") aspects of a prospect to decipher. It's not easy but psych testing is being used by more and more teams each year. It's crucial to see through the "coached" responses given by draftees. BB is considered exceptional at interviewing prospects.

So the real question for me is how the Pats are doing compared to the other 31.
Here's a graph from PFF for 2018-2021 that shows the Patriots have drafted quite well despite all the criticism leveled at BB over the last few years.
It shows the criticism is unfounded.
The Pats come in 3rd best in the league. Our 2022 draft should move us up over Cleveland.

FY1rbm4XwAMo7Zs


This supports your assessment by showing that BB's bad years drafting still get an A when compared to the rest of the league.
I actually think when assessing drafts it's important to consider at least the next level down, and perhaps the level below that as well, as draft successes. Because depth, especially cheap depth that you control, matters a ton.

For me the most important thing is to reduce the number of picks spent on guys in the first couple of categories - the 54% that never play for you or are useless.

My rule of thumb is that any draft that produces 1 in the top two categories (8%) and 1 other guy from the next two (30%) is fine, or 3 guys from the 30%, that's fine, too. Obviously there are gradations in how good a player is within those bands, plus positional importance and team needs. There's trade value to consider, plus the number of picks and where they fall in the round. But if you can consistently average at least 1/1 or 0/3, you're not falling behind in terms of restocking your shelves with young talent. You should have the building blocks of developing players to challenge vets and fortify with free agents and trades.

By that rule of thumb:
  • 2018 was okay, though nothing special. Still some things to shake out, but it's a solid single and could steal second when all is said and done. Considering they had 2 1st rounders, it should trend better than the average. Wynn, Michel, and Bentley all appear to be in the third tier, so top 20% - "replacement-level starter" range - and Berrios seems likely to end up in that tier or the next one. If Dawson ends up contributing over the next few years, that's a solid draft, even though team management dictated some of the drafted value didn't come to your team.
  • 2019 depends on Cajuste being at least a contributor, a non-liability when called upon, and Stidham to some extent. I don't think you can call it a failure with Bailey and Harris giving you a baseline of 1/1 or maybe even 2/0, but it's a weak-ish 1/1 or 2/0 based on positional value of punters and RBs, and Harris is probably in that 20%, not the 8%. If Cajuste is in the 30% it's at least a base hit, with Winovich and Stidham's careers pushing it better. If he's in the 20% this is a very good draft.
  • 2020 is still in flux, but it would be hard for it to be unsuccessful overall. Dugger and Onwenu look to be at least 0/2, and both have the potential to be at least in the 20% (Dugger is probably here already) if not the 8%. Jennings and Uche are pending, with Herron on the outside looking in. If all three of them fail and neither Dugger nor Onwenu break out, this is probably barely below the line, but this is a walk at worst. Even if Uche is cut here, his pass rush ability will get him a job somewhere and he's pretty likely to end up in the 30% before he leaves the league. Jennings is going to be in the 30%. My guess is that this draft is a nice RBI single.
  • 2021 is a flat win, at worst an extra-base hit. Barmore and Mac are both top-5 players on the team already, and Stevenson is a lock for the 30% at least, so you're starting at 2/1. Both Barmore and Mac have a realistic possibility of being in that top 1% category. Nixon and Bledsoe both have potential to be 30%, but both have logjams of quality veterans ahead of them. Still a lot to sort out, but taking positional impact and team needs into account the ceiling for this is walk-off grand slam.
  • 2022 is looking strong so far, but it's obviously very early. My instinct is that it would be a massive shock if it didn't produce 1/1 or 0/3, and I expect better than that. I don't think we'll know for awhile, since Strong, Zappe, Harris have potential, but aren't likely to show much impact for at least a year or two. But I have relatively high expectations for Thornton, Hines, and both Joneses, and at least a low likelihood of failure for Strange: finger to the wind, I'd guess 2 of those 5 make the top 8%, with no fewer than 3 of the 5 in the top 30%. Stueber is a total ?, and Roberts looks interesting.
 

Hawg73

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You can't say BB has bad drafts. We have to keep Defending him against Brady era fans. The 3 year rule proved some of them were bad drafts. 2019 being one of his worse

King, I'm going to steal this wonderful phrase.

Brady Era Fans. BEFs. So, that goes way back to 2018 and before which seems like a long time ago. It describes a group who chooses ignore the here and now and prefers
to live in the past where they imagine that everything was perfect and dreamy. When Tommy's halo was still shining bright.

Some people would include 2019, because technically Brady was on the team, but was he really here?

Brady Era Fans, people.

(y)
 

Hawg73

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Disaster! It's common knowledge that these drafts were disasters.

2018:
  • Isaiah Wynn
  • Sony Michel
  • Duke Dawson
  • Ju'Whaun Bentley
  • Braxton Berrios
Assuming Wynn doesn't disappear, and Dawson continues his resurrection, that's 5 legit NFLers. But 3-5 in any case.

2019:
  • Chase Winovich
  • Damian Harris
  • Yodney Cajuste
  • Jarrett Stidham
  • Jake Bailey
Looks like Stidham will stick around the NFL for a journeyman backup career, and Winovich seems like he has a home. 5 legit NFLers.

2020:
  • Kyle Dugger
  • Josh Uche
  • Anfernee Jennings
  • Michael Onwenu
  • Justin Herron
Still early, but it looks like Dugger & Onwenu are solid, Uche & Jennings likely. If they would only play Herron at LT, he seems to be a serviceable backup. 3 to 5 NFLers.

2021:
  • Mac Jones
  • Christian Barmore
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Joshuah Bledsoe
  • Tre Nixon
...and possibly Perkins and/or McGrone. 4-7 NFLers.

2022:
Still early, but looking pretty good so far.

How many GMs can match this record, honestly? And those years were a disaster!

Compliments on not going overboard with the numbers of "NFLers". You were fair.

All those hours of scouting and money and 3 to 5 is about all you can hope for. It's like hitting
.300 in baseball. You fail more than you don't, but that is still good.
 

3 Point Stan

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Compliments on not going overboard with the numbers of "NFLers". You were fair.

All those hours of scouting and money and 3 to 5 is about all you can hope for. It's like hitting
.300 in baseball. You fail more than you don't, but that is still good.
Yeah, but none of those 6th rounders are going to pan out to be the greatest player in NFL history, so these drafts = FAIL.

:coffee:
 
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Flagg the Wanderer

Flagg the Wanderer

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You can't say BB has bad drafts. We have to keep Defending him against Brady era fans. The 3 year rule proved some of them were bad drafts. 2019 being one of his worse
No, I think he's had a bunch that were worse than 2019, which was decent.
Now take it on back through 2012……..
Good point. This is actually where I think he fell down, and it's actually worse farther back.

The results aren't going to be markedly different.
I disagree. Going back to 2000, even. I may be overlooking some guys whose contributions fell out of my memory, but:

2000: B, by the grace of God and Mo Lewis. Outside of that one 6th rounder, a total shit show. 9 other picks, and the best of the lot was JR Redmond, who had his moments, but was never in the 30%. 1/0.
2001: A-. 2/0 with Seymour and Light.
2002: C. Walk or single, 0/3 with Branch & Givens, plus a weak point for Jarvis Green.
2003: B+. Good draft. 1/3, with Ty Warren plus Wilson, Koppen, and Assante.
2004: B+. Just a 1/1, but Wilfork was a 1%, not 8%, plus Ben Watson.
2005: D+. Low positional value 1/0 with Mankins, some limited value from Sanders and Hobbs, I guess. But probably an out after a lot of fouled-off pitches to wear down the pitcher.
2006: D. An out. With 10 picks, got nothing but Maroney and Gostowski. Technically a 1/1, but you can't have a 1/1 with much less positional value.
2007: D- Out. 0/1 for Brandon Meriwether.
2008: C. Walk or single. 1/1 for Mayo and Slater.
2009: Solid draft, B+. An extra base hit. 1/2 or 1/3 with Edelman, Chung, and Vollmer plus Tate.
2010: A- Nice draft. 2/1 with Gronkowski, McCourty, and Hernandez, with a little extra credit for Spikes, and you don't mess with the Zoltan.
2011: C+ A weak 1/1, more like a 0/2 with Solder, Cannon, and some points for Vereen and Ridley
2012: B+. 2/0 or 1/1 with Hightower and Chandler Jones, then a whole lotta nothing.
2013: D. Pretty weak. Jaime Collins and Duron Harmon are probably a weak 0/2.
2014: C-. 1/2 or 0/3, but a weak one: White, Stork, & JimmyG.
2015: C+. A weak 1/1, with Shaq Mason plus a combined Trey Flowers and Malcolm Brown
2016: C+. Another weak 1/1, with Thuney plus a combined Brissett and Elandon Roberts
2017: F. A total abortion of a draft. Only 4 picks starting in the 3rd round, so it's graded on a curve, but it's a weak 0/1, only producing Deatrich Wise.

I think what hurt the Patriots teams of 2019-2021 were the drafts of 2013-2017. Recent drafts have been better, IMO. 2018-20 are much maligned, but it looks like each will end up being better than 2015&16, which were the best years in the 2013-2017 range. 2021 & 2022 look like gold, and so the average over the last 5 years is very good, with no real painful years.

Certainly neither span is as bad as 2005-2008, which set up those hollow, paper tiger Patriots teams from 2008 (and in some ways, 2007!) through ~2012.

Thankfully, our GM is amazing, and is also pretty strong at FA and absolutely amazing at 1) UDFAs, 2) trades, especially for future value, 3) avoiding cap hell, and 4) milking the compensatory pick system. So we've been able to...let's say, maintain a highly competitive team over time.
 

chevss454

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I actually think when assessing drafts it's important to consider at least the next level down, and perhaps the level below that as well, as draft successes. Because depth, especially cheap depth that you control, matters a ton.

For me the most important thing is to reduce the number of picks spent on guys in the first couple of categories - the 54% that never play for you or are useless.

I agree and it's apparent that BB agrees, too. BB loves depth and all those JAGS who provide it. He avoids top heavy teams like the plague.
 

TipRoast

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No, I think he's had a bunch that were worse than 2019, which was decent.
Good point. This is actually where I think he fell down, and it's actually worse farther back.

I disagree. Going back to 2000, even. I may be overlooking some guys whose contributions fell out of my memory, but:

2000: B, by the grace of God and Mo Lewis. Outside of that one 6th rounder, a total shit show. 9 other picks, and the best of the lot was JR Redmond, who had his moments, but was never in the 30%. 1/0.
2001: A-. 2/0 with Seymour and Light.
2002: C. Walk or single, 0/3 with Branch & Givens, plus a weak point for Jarvis Green.
2003: B+. Good draft. 1/3, with Ty Warren plus Wilson, Koppen, and Assante.
2004: B+. Just a 1/1, but Wilfork was a 1%, not 8%, plus Ben Watson.
2005: D+. Low positional value 1/0 with Mankins, some limited value from Sanders and Hobbs, I guess. But probably an out after a lot of fouled-off pitches to wear down the pitcher.
2006: D. An out. With 10 picks, got nothing but Maroney and Gostowski. Technically a 1/1, but you can't have a 1/1 with much less positional value.
2007: D- Out. 0/1 for Brandon Meriwether.
2008: C. Walk or single. 1/1 for Mayo and Slater.
2009: Solid draft, B+. An extra base hit. 1/2 or 1/3 with Edelman, Chung, and Vollmer plus Tate.
2010: A- Nice draft. 2/1 with Gronkowski, McCourty, and Hernandez, with a little extra credit for Spikes, and you don't mess with the Zoltan.
2011: C+ A weak 1/1, more like a 0/2 with Solder, Cannon, and some points for Vereen and Ridley
2012: B+. 2/0 or 1/1 with Hightower and Chandler Jones, then a whole lotta nothing.
2013: D. Pretty weak. Jaime Collins and Duron Harmon are probably a weak 0/2.
2014: C-. 1/2 or 0/3, but a weak one: White, Stork, & JimmyG.
2015: C+. A weak 1/1, with Shaq Mason plus a combined Trey Flowers and Malcolm Brown
2016: C+. Another weak 1/1, with Thuney plus a combined Brissett and Elandon Roberts
2017: F. A total abortion of a draft. Only 4 picks starting in the 3rd round, so it's graded on a curve, but it's a weak 0/1, only producing Deatrich Wise.

I think what hurt the Patriots teams of 2019-2021 were the drafts of 2013-2017. Recent drafts have been better, IMO. 2018-20 are much maligned, but it looks like each will end up being better than 2015&16, which were the best years in the 2013-2017 range. 2021 & 2022 look like gold, and so the average over the last 5 years is very good, with no real painful years.

Certainly neither span is as bad as 2005-2008, which set up those hollow, paper tiger Patriots teams from 2008 (and in some ways, 2007!) through ~2012.

Thankfully, our GM is amazing, and is also pretty strong at FA and absolutely amazing at 1) UDFAs, 2) trades, especially for future value, 3) avoiding cap hell, and 4) milking the compensatory pick system. So we've been able to...let's say, maintain a highly competitive team over time.
Did you include the league robbing the Patriots of multiple draft picks when you were doing your assessments?
 
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Flagg the Wanderer

Flagg the Wanderer

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Did you include the league robbing the Patriots of multiple draft picks when you were doing your assessments?
Nope. I didn't count Maroney's injury against them, but I did mark them down for Hernandez.
 

Big/Sky/Fly

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You can't say BB has bad drafts. We have to keep Defending him against Brady era fans. The 3 year rule proved some of them were bad drafts. 2019 being one of his worse
BB is the GOAT, but, he isn't perfect. TB12 isn't either...just look at his current shituation with Jizz.
 

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BB shouldn't get the blame for the players that flake out...that is absolutely on the player. So, I'm not putting all of the blame on BB. It would be impossible to hit on 100%.
 
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