They’re all pretty good players, and they were all drafted after former Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli departed New England in 2009 to become general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Since then, the Patriots have also plucked Danny Woodhead off the scrap heap and signed Andre Carter, Rob Ninkovich and Brian Waters to team-friendly deals in free agency.
Despite those apparent successes in player personnel, the Patriots have won zero Super Bowls in that time period, leading some to wonder if Bill Belichick can still evaluate talent like he did when Pioli was in Foxboro.
Pioli himself has called such criticism “ridiculous,” but after watching their team fail to get out of the first round of the playoffs the last two years, Patriots fans are grasping for answers.
Can the franchise that discovered Tom Brady in the sixth round really be losing its touch?
Pioli’s new club visits his old haunt Monday night sporting a 4-5 record and mired in last place in the AFC West. Maybe instead of wondering if Belichick needs Pioli, the question should be: Is Pioli the same player evaluator without Belichick?