There is a saying in NFL circles that it takes three years to effectively judge an NFL draft, or to decide if a team made the right selection by picking one player over another.
The Patriots entered the day with two first-round picks (No. 14 and 19) and looking at what was considered a deep crop of defensive tackles. There was Kentuckyís Dewayne Robertson, Georgiaís Johnathan Sullivan, Oklahoma Stateís Kevin Williams, Penn Stateís Jimmy Kennedy, Texas A&Mís Ty Warren and the University of Miamiís William Joseph.
There were rumors the Patriots would trade up for Robertson and chatter that Sullivan was the next Richard Seymour.
So when the Patriots ended up with Warren, it wasnít the type of pick that created a buzz. The Jets and Saints had both traded multiple first-round picks to move up and select Robertson and Sullivan, which made the Patriotsí pick look even less thrilling.
Fast-forward to today. With the Patriots and Jets set to meet on Monday -- and almost three years having passed since the draft -- letís take a look back and see how things have unfolded for each player:
* Robertson -- The Jets traded picks Nos. 13 and 22, as well as a fourth-rounder, to move up to No. 4 for Robertson. Heís been a solid player for the Jets, although itís debatable he was worth such a heavy price.
* Sullivan -- The Saints traded picks Nos. 17 and 18, and swapped second-round choices with Arizona, to select Sullivan at No. 6. Sullivan has been a disappointment with the Saints and not worth the trade-up.
* Williams -- Selected by the Vikings at No. 9, he has arguably been the most successful first-round d-tackle, earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2004. At the time, the question was whether he would fit into the Patriotsí system as he is more suited to a one-gap scheme than the Patriotsí two-gap.
* Kennedy -- Has been a disappointment since being picked 12th by the Rams. After he was selected, the Patriots moved quickly to trade from No. 14 to 13 -- giving up a sixth-round choice -- as only Warren and Joseph were still available.
* Warren -- Picked at No. 13, he has played in every possible game and has started the last two seasons at defensive end. A consistent, solid performer in the teamís two-gap style.
* Joseph -- Selected 25th, has yet to emerge although was considered to have made progress this season before an injury sidelined him.
FINAL ANALYSIS: At the time, the Jets and Saints garnered more headlines, but in the end, the Patriots holding pat proved to be a smart move. They kept their additional first-round pick, which was traded to Baltimore for a 2003 second-round pick and a 2004 first-round pick (Vince Wilfork). The second-round pick, through another trade, ended up being Eugene Wilson. So judging this aspect of the 2003 draft, almost three years later, the Patriots get high marks.
Looking ahead, weíll plan on posting our next update Monday, focusing on the Patriots-Jets game.