Patriots Have Major Hits, Misses In Second Round Under Bill Belichick


Apr 29, 2016

The New England Patriots were forced to sit out the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but they’ll be busy on Day 2.

The Patriots hold two picks in the second round and two picks in the third round Friday. They’ll select 60th, 61st, 91st and 96th overall, unless they trade out, of course.

If history is any indication, don’t be surprised if one of the Patriots’ second-round picks is a major hit and the other is a miss. Bill Belichick has a spotty track record in the second round since taking over the team in 2000.

Here are the Patriots’ second-round picks under Belichick ranked.

1. TE Rob Gronkowski, 2010
Gronkowski has the potential to be the greatest tight end in NFL history. He has 5,555 yards and 65 touchdowns in just six seasons.

2. OT Matt Light, 2001
Light was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and a one-time first-team All-Pro as Tom Brady’s blindside protector for 11 seasons.

3. WR Deion Branch, 2002
Branch might have moved into the “franchise players” category if he hadn’t spent four and a half seasons in the prime of his career with the Seattle Seahawks. He had 328 receptions for 4,297 yards with 24 touchdowns in two tenures with the Patriots.

4. LB Jamie Collins, 2013
Collins was named to his first of what could be many Pro Bowls in 2015.

5. OT Sebastian Vollmer, 2009
Vollmer has been one of the best right tackles in football for seven seasons. He was forced to move to left tackle in 2015.

6. SS Patrick Chung, 2009
Chung had an up-and-down first tenure with the Patriots, but he’s been moved down to strong safety since rejoining the Patriots in 2014, and he’s now one of the best players at his position in the NFL.

7. RB Shane Vereen, 2011
Vereen caught 107 passes for 1,023 yards with seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Patriots. He served as their primary third-down back in 2013 and 2014. The Patriots couldn’t afford him on the open market in 2015.

8. DB Eugene Wilson, 2003
Wilson started 55 games in five seasons with the Patriots and recorded 10 interceptions with 195 tackles.

9. LB Brandon Spikes, 2010
Spikes started 39 games in four seasons with the Patriots. He came back in 2015 but was cut before training camp.

10. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 2014
Garoppolo has just 31 career passing attempts. We might find out if he’s a hit for the first four games of the 2016 season.

11. SS Jordan Richards, 2015
Richards played well in limited opportunities as a rookie in 2015.

12. DL Marquise Hill, 2004
Hill tragically died before his fourth season with the Patriots.

13. WR Aaron Dobson, 2013
Dobson has one more year to prove himself with the Patriots. He’s been unable to reproduce his success as a rookie, when he had 37 receptions for 519 yards with four touchdowns.

14. SS Tavon Wilson, 2012
Wilson never became a starting-caliber defender, but he lasted through his rookie contract and was a special-teams standout. He never lived up to his second-round billing, however.

15. OL Adrian Klemm, 2000
Klemm was Belichick’s first draft pick with the Patriots. He started 10 games over four seasons before leaving for the Green Bay Packers.

16. CB Darius Butler, 2009
Butler was a bust for the Patriots, but he’s still kicking in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

17. DL Jermaine Cunningham, 2010
Cunningham recorded just 3.5 sacks in three seasons with the Patriots.

18. WR Bethel Johnson, 2003
Johnson was a standout kick returner, but he didn’t make it through his rookie contract before being cut.

19. DT Ron Brace, 2009
Brace sadly died over the weekend. He started seven games in four years with the Patriots.

20. CB Terrance Wheatley, 2008
Wheatley only lasted two seasons with the Patriots. He started one game.

21. WR Chad Jackson, 2006
Jackson caught just 13 passes for 152 yards in two seasons with the Patriots after being the 36th overall pick.

22. CB Ras-I Dowling, 2011
Dowling was better than Wheatley, but he was taken 29 picks higher and still only lasted two seasons.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

Leramy Tunsil
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