Bill Belichick’s Worst Draft in His History With New England
After Laurence Maroney was traded to the Denver Broncos along with a sixth-round pick for a fourth rounder, the Patriots 2006 draft class took its place as Bill Belichick’s worst draft with the New England Patriots.
|1||Laurence Maroney, RB|
|2||Chad Jackson, WR|
|3||David Thomas, TE|
|4||Garret Mills, TE|
|4||Stephen Gostowski, K|
|5||Ryan O'Callaghan, T|
|6||Jeremy Mincey, DE|
|6||Dan Stevenson, OG|
|6||Le Kevin Smith, DT|
|7||Willie Andrews, S|
The only player who still plays for the Patriots is the kicker, Stephen Gostowski. While he is a high-level kicker who delivers in the clutch, a draft class which only delivered a franchise kicker cannot be considered a success.
Laurence Maroney showed promise early on, but was injury prone and unable to hit holes with conviction. Further, he fumbled much too often.
Chad Jackson was a complete bust. He was an average return man, but as a wide receiver he was painfully useless. He could not run routes and dropped many catchable passes. In his three years of NFL play, Jackson caught a total of 14 passes for 171 yards.
The defensive players selected (Willie Andrews, Le Kevin Smith and Jeremy Mincey) all struggled as well. The three have combined for 53 career tackles, three sacks and one pass defended.
David Thomas was actually a decent player, and managed 35 receptions for over 350 yards last season in New Orleans.
However, with New England, Thomas only caught 21 passes in his three seasons with the team.
Fundamentally, it is obvious that the 2006 draft class was a not good. There were no impact players drafted, and the only remaining player is the kicker.
OLB Pierre Woods, an undrafted player from 2006 whom New England picked up, was perhaps the most important, and even he has struggled in terms of playing well consistently, totaling only one sack in three years with the Patriots.
The 2006 draft class is part of the reason for the Patriots struggles over the past few years. After the 18-0 run in 2007, the Patriots’ defense has looked fairly old and slow, until recently, when the Pats started drafting players who seem to be higher impact guys.
Everybody believes that the window is closing on New England, but these next few drafts will either slam it shut, or pry it right back open.