n response to hardright's comment:
5--BELICHICK HAS HAD DRAFT BUSTS. Yes, he most certainly has. He's had many of them. He's whiffed on a lot of DB picks, in particular, and that's hurt the overall quality of the team because, let's face it, since the Polian-Martz-Fisher, et. al. Cabal got together and rammed a Patriots-focused rule change into being 9 years ago (where was the media outcry over that bit of "cheating to gain a competitive advantage?"), stopping the pass has really become the one and only thing defenses MUST do well consistently in order to give their teams a chance to win. With that said, BB's draft record, OVERALL, since 2007, stacks up well with every other GM's in the NFL. That's not an opinion, it's a fact.
RESPONSE: Last season, the Pats were 29th in the NFL in pass defense. Pass defense has been the Achilles Heel of this team...and continues to be, going into this season. To blame their troubles defending the pass on the Polian passing rules is silly. Why can't you simply admit that the problem exists due to BB's failure to "fix" the secondary through the draft? He has never been able to replace Asante Samuel, after he had left for Philly. The secondary was so bad last year that BB had to roll dice on a character issue player last year, when he traded his 4th round pick in the 2012 draft, to rent Aqib Talib for half a season. What happened in the AFC title game against the Ravens in the second half, after Talib left the game with a hamstring injury?
6--You wanna talk about Ozzie Newsome? Fine, let's talk about him.
RESPONSE: Here we go again! The premise of my argument is that BB's poor drafting from 2006-present, is the main reason why the Pats haven't won a SB since 2005. I have no complaints regarding BB's drafts from 2000-05.
The only reason I brought Newsome and the Ravens into the discussion is because that team had outplayed the Patriots in Foxborough in the play-offs, in 2009, 2011, and 2012. I thought that it would be interesting to compare the drafting records of Newsome from 2006-present, to BB.
He's an excellent GM. He's one of the best in the business....and since winning his first Super Bowl in 2000, his teams have also missed the playoffs four times (2002, 2004-2005, 2007) and had three losing seasons (2002, 2005, 2007).
RESPONSE: Here we go again! The time period in question is the past 8 years, from 2006-present! I have no complaints about BB's drafting prior to 2006. So, what Newsome did or didn't do from 2000-05 is irrelevant to this discussion.
Those losing seasons enabled them to draft high enough to tab guys like Nata, Suggs and Flacco in the first round.
RESPONSE: This is irrelevant! But, big deal. The Pats became the Pats defensively in their dynasty era because of high draft picks. BB got Richard Seymour in 2001 with a top 10 pick. He inherited Willie McGinest, another top 10 pick. Ty Law was a #1 draft choice. BB got Vince Wilfolk in a deal with the Ravens, at #21 overall.
So what? We are talking about the period between 2006-13. Please stay on subject. As for Flacco, the Ravens traded up to nab him with the 19th overall pick in 2007.
7--Since 2008 (and not including 2013 since it's the first training camp for that draft class), BB has drafted or signed as UDFA's the following players that are still on NE's roster: Mayo, Slater, Wendell, Vollmer, Edelman, McCourty, Gronkowski, Cunningham, Spikes, Mesko, Fletcher, Solder, Dowling, Vereen, Ridley, Mallett, Cannon, Tarpinian, Jones, Hightower, T. Wilson, Bequette, Ebner, Dennard, Francis, Bolden, Forston, Zusevics. Now, certainly, some of these guys are just roster fodder, and others will be cut or traded before this training camp is over. With that said, 80% of one of the best offensive lines in the NFL is included on that list, and so is 100% of a very good starting LB corps. In addition, you've got McCourty, who had a great rookie year as a CB, tailed off in 2011 and was ultimately moved to a position where he seems very likely to become a Pro Bowler in the near future. Jones would have had double-digit sacks as a rookie last year were it not for his ankle injury; Gronkowski is the best TE in football and will be again once he's off the PUP list this season; Ridley and Vereen are a productive and exciting pair of young RBs; Slater is one of the best special-teamers in the league; and Edelman is very produtive when healthy. BB also found a hidden gem in Rob Ninkovich in 2009 after SEVERAL teams refused to even let him do more than be a member of their practice squads for four seasons.
RESPONSE: Well...unlike the rude, cowardly, childish pcmIV, at least you have chosen to discuss the period in question here, and attempt to defend BB's drafts. But, sorry. You attempt to make his talent acquisitions through the draft look better and more numerous by including undrafted free agents he's signed. Here's a look at his drafts...limited to the top 100 picks:
1.) 2006: The 2006 draft was a disaster, in which BB, perhaps fearing that the Colts would draft him, chose to select RB Lawrence Maroney at #21. Then, it got worse. BB packaged his 52nd and 75th overall picks to trade up to #36 overall, where he chose WR Chad Jackson, and TE David Thomas at #86;
2.) 2007: BB selected FS Brandon Meriweather at #24;
3.) 2008: After selecting ILB Jerod Mayo at #10, BB them wasted his 62nd overall pick on CB Terrence Wheatley, selected OLB Shawn "Betty Grable" Crable at #78, and QB Kevin 'Connell at #94.
4.) 2009: Took Patrick "Eugene" Chung at #34, Ron Brace at #40, Darius Butler at #41, before hitting on C-Bass at #58. Then, proceeded to use his 83rd overall pick on WR Brandon Tate, and his 97th overall pick on Tyrone McKenzie.
5.) 2010: Took McCourty at #27, Gronk at #42, Cunningham at #53, Spikes at #62, Taylor Price at #90.
6.) 2011: Landed Nate Solder at #17, Ras-I Dowling at #33, Shane Vereen at #56, Ridley at #73, and Ryan Mallett at #74.
7.) 2012: Got Chandler Jones at #21, Hightower at #25, Tavon Wilson at #48, and Jake Bequette at #90.
LET ME EMPHASIZE THIS:
I've never said that BB is a terrible GM, as certain idiots here have accused me of saying. I've only criticized his drafts, from 2006-present.
BB is a great evaluator of veteran talent. He usually knows when to let a guy go, and when to keep him. Even his decision to let Asante Samuel go was the correct one. What made it appear to be erroneous is that he's picked the wrong players in the draft to replace him.
BB also makes great trades. I give him high marks for the trades he made in 2007 to land andy Moss and Wes Welker, and the deal he made to eventually land LB Jerod Mayo in 2008. Even the draft trade he made with Green Bay in 2009 for multiple draft choices was good...but he just used the picks he got on the wrong guys.
Ditto the Cassell deal in 2009, the draft day deal with Carolina in 2010 which resulted in him getting the 33rd overall pick in 2011 (which was wasted on Ras-I), and the draft day trades he made in 2012 and 2013. All were all excellent. My only complaint of him lies over the actual selection of players in the draft.
8--Yes, the pass defense hasn't been up to snuff in recent seasons, and that's been a problem. Top-notch DB talent usually lives near the top-half of the first round of the draft, however, and the Pats' success year after year makes it nearly impossible for them to have a shot to draft a guy like Revis. However, I'm not going to use that as an excuse for BB's below-average track record drafting DBs in recent years (except for McCourty--and we'll see about some of the other guys he's drafted starting with the 2011 draft).
RESPONSE: Not up to snuff? It's been terrible...despite the great number of high draft choices spent to fix it! It's a testament to BB and Brady that the Pats have done as well as they have, despite their horrid pass defense.
I will, however, make this excuse for him: Polian and his co-conspirators, through slippery means and with a clear, anti-New England agenda in mind, essentially succeeded in changing the way pass defense has to be played in the NFL, and evaluating college DBs and projecting their ability to be able to successfully navigate around the "The Polian Rules" has become a lot harder, for every NFL GM, in recent years. And that's one of the main reasons why picking in the top-half of the first round once in awhile would help BB's cause. But, here again, the Pats win too many games every year to be able to pick that high.
RESPONSE: That excuse was viable in 2004. But, BB has since adjusted, and pretty much transformed the Patriots into what the Colts once were. Perhaps evaluating DBs has become as difficult as it has been for him to evaluate WRs. Still, that doesn't change the fact that he's taking the wrong guys, It also doesn't excuse taking a short CB with the 62nd overall pick in 2008, who have a surgically inserted steel rod in his wrist (Wheatley)...taking Ras-I Dowling at #33 in 2011, who was injury prone throughout his college career...or using the 48th overall pick in 2012 to grossly reach for safety, Tavon Wilson.
9--Bottom line, anyone who thinks that BB is a below-average or even bad drafter or GM after reviewing the facts that have been presented here simply isn't interested in facts. They're just interested in pushing agendas, and they're no different than discredited media hacks like Borges, Breer, Felger and Shank.
RESPONSE Some of the points you made above are valid. But this is not one of them. BB has generally done a poor job overall in selecting players through the draft...particularly on the defensive side of the ball. It is the reason why the Pats' pass defense is currently one of the worst in the NFL.
I apologize for the length of the post, but there were a lot of points that needed to be made.
Thanks for taking the time to reasonably present your case.