Bill Belichick doesn't care what draft experts think
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Around The League editor
- Published: April 28, 2012 at 04:54 p.m.
- Updated: April 28, 2012 at 05:20 p.m.
The reaction from the draft analysts was unanimous. The Patriots took who in the second round?
When the defending AFC champions drafted Illinois defensive back Tavon Wilson No. 48 overall, the draftnik community was apoplectic. He was "rated" a seventh rounder or undrafted player, said draft gurus from NFL.com to ESPN.com. Wilson didn't even attend the combine.
"Some guys play in all-star games, some guys don't," Belichick said via CSNNE.com. "I don't know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I don't know who picks the combine for that matter. ... How did (Patriots' right tackle Sebastian) Vollmer not get invited to the combine? I don't know. We can't really worry about that.
"We just have to try to evaluate them the best we can. If they're there, they're there. If they're not, they're not. If they play in an all-star game, we look at it. If they don't, they don't."
Vollmer became a second-team All-Pro in his second season. He was called a "reach" by the draftniks, too. Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com wrote a great column on the subject that essentially asked: Do you trust the draftniks or Belichick?
The reality is that the draft community doesn't know how NFL teams think. There were a lot of teams that had Bruce Irvin rated in the first round. (Not just Seattle.) Seven teams worked out Wilson, so he wasn't under the radar.
"He played plenty. You can see him plenty at Illinois," Belichick said. "You can see him against whoever you want to see him against: all the Big Ten schools, Arizona State, teams that throw the ball."
Translation: We know more than you. It should be obvious, but he's right.
UPDATE: Belichick drafted Ohio State "safety" Nate Ebner in the sixth round. Ebner isn't in any draft preview magazines because he barely played on defense last year. He was a walk on that mostly played special teams. (Before having a great pro day.) If the NFL doesn't work out, Ebner will pursue an international rugby career