FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots apparently are no different than your standard internet NFL draft analyst, in one regard, at least.
Head coach Bill Belichick revealed the Patriots sometimes will conduct in-house mock drafts to see how the board might shake out. That probably comes as a surprise to most since many regard mock drafts as a waste of time since it involves so much of the unknown.
“Sometimes we do that, yeah. Sometimes we do that,” Belichick said Friday morning during his pre-draft news conference. “It’s really more of a — I’d say sometimes it just sparks a conversation. We might internally say, ‘OK, how about Player A and Player B? Player B and Player C. And if you did a mock draft where kind of each guy has a team and, ‘OK, it’s your turn. You pick this.’ And now you look at the board, it’s our turn to pick, and ‘Gee, here’s a scenario we hadn’t really thought about.’ We hadn’t really pictured that this guy would be there.
“So, that kind of can simulate some — again, we don’t know what the other teams are going to do. We don’t know what we’re going to do. Many of them probably don’t know what they’re going to do either. It depends on what happens in front of them. But, again, it’s just an exercise to just kind of complete the process of preparation. That’s the way it is on draft day too. There’s a lot of time you’re sitting there looking at players that, ‘I thought this player would be there, and he’s long gone.’ Or ‘I didn’t think this player would be there, and he’s still there.’
“One of the problems with that is if you haven’t done the work on a player, and he’s still there, then you really don’t know the player as well as you should, because if you thought he wouldn’t be there, that puts you in a little bit of a dilemma. You’re kind of in the unknown, which is where you don’t want to be. It’s hard enough when you think you know what you’re doing. It’s even harder when you’re kind of guessing. You just didn’t anticipate this. That’s kind of the perks of the mock draft. We don’t sit around and do it all day, but we do it as an exercise to kind of simulate.”
It’s fascinating picturing Belichick and the Patriots’ front-office execs and scouts conducting mock drafts in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, but there’s definitely value in it. Patriots fans surely would pay good money to see it.