New England Patriots
Founded as the Boston Patriots in 1960 as an original member of the AFL. Joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL/nfl merger. Officially changed name to New England Patriots in 1971.
League Championships: 3 – 2001 (Super Bowl), 2003 (Super Bowl), 2004 (Super Bowl)
Conference Championships: 5 – 1985 (AFC), 1996 (AFC), 2001 (AFC), 2003 (AFC), 2004 (AFC), 2007
Division Championships: 9 – 1963 (AFL East), 1978 (AFC East), 1986 (AFC East), 1996 (AFC East), 1997 (AFC East), 2001 (AFC East), 2003 (AFC East), 2004 (AFC East), 2005 (AFC East), 2007
Playoff Appearances: 14 – 1963, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010
2005 Finish: 10-6, 1 st Place AFC East
2004: 14-2 2005: 10-6 2006: 12-4 2007: 16-0 2008: 11-5 2009: 10-6 2010: 14-2
2011 Draft Grade
New England Patriots (F+)
17: Nate Solder (21, 23 = 22) -5
33: Ras-I Dowling (39, 42 = 41) -8
56: Shane Vereen (97, 88 = 92) -36
73: Steven Ridley (154, 175 = 165) -92
74: Ryan Mallett (54, 37 = 46) +28
138: Marcus Cannon (131, 50 = 91) +47
159: Lee Smith (155, 215 = 185) -26
194: Markell Carter (255, 255 = 255) -61
219: Malcolm Williams (255, 255 = 255) -36
For a team that is normally applauded for their shrewd draft day value – the Patriots sure seemed to fall in love with reaching this time around. I’m also sick of everyone falling in love with the Patriots ability to trade for picks “next year” – if they keep doing that every damn year, are they really trading for picks next year at all? I think not. They are postponing their pick, and since they do it every single year, they really don’t have multiple 1st or 2nd or 3rd round picks. If you have 2, and you trade 1, you only have 1. They are just teasing us. Both RBs were huge reaches, Vereen less, but a reach nonetheless, and I’m pretty sure there were better backs on the board. Mallet was a solid deal, and Marcus Cannon has produced like a 1st round pick on the OL, but injury concerns had him slip. If he comes out healthy, (and since the Pats took him, he probably will) New England might have come away with the highest true value pick in the draft.
Draft Pick Total: 963– Player Rankings Total: 1152 —- TOTAL RANKING: -189
2011 Mock Draft
New England Patriots 14-2 from Raiders 8-8 – Tyron Smith, OT, USC: The Patriots are smart and thus they will probably draft somebody like Tyron Smith, a very athletic and gifted offensive lineman that projects well in the NFL. The Patriots could use some depth along the offensive line, and they are always looking for value. With so many strong defensive line candidates, guys who can play the 3-4 end position, project players they like as an outside linebacker, this pick just makes too much sense to pass on a kid like Smith. More protection for Brady, not a bad thing at all. If a great player fell down this far, the Patriots could make that move – if another team was willing to give up the world to grab this pick, the Patriots wouldn’t be opposed to that. But if it all sits as is, I like Smith to go here.
New England Patriots 14-2 – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: This kid fits perfect to what the Patriots want to do defensively, and frankly, what they’ve been missing since they shipped Richard Seymour off to Oakland a couple seasons ago. Not that Heyward is going to be Seymour, but he will fill some of that void. He was a very productive player for a very good defense, and he has the size and athleticism to be a very good NFL player. I think Belichick will like his skill-set. Christian Ballard is another option, and showed well at the combine. Both guys fit the Patriots’ scheme and needs.
2008 NFL DRAFT GRADES
The Pats actually probably would have liked to pick farther down the board, but they got a great player in Mayo. His value was somewhere around there. Wheatley is a great cover guy, and will take over in a spot where the Pats need help now. Overall, the Pats get a nice grade for picking great talent and addressing their biggest needs.
And just like that, the rich get richer. Jerod Mayo was slamming up draft boards, and while 10 is probably a little high for a linebacker, the Patriots will surely get some use out of him on their way to redemption. He was the best linebacker in the draft, and can really play anywhere. He is big and strong and really fast with a great motor. There’s nothing in the way from this kid becoming a force for the Pats.
Their 2nd round selection was Terrence Wheatley, a nice little corner from Colorado in the Asante Samuel mold. He may not have great size, or even average size, but this kid is legit, an absolute lock down coverage guy on the outside. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts for most of the upcoming season, he’s that good in coverage.
Shawn Crable is a run stuffer with some pass-rush ability – sounds like a kid that can get a lot of burn in New England. When he’s not stuffing the run, he’ll just rush freely from the linebacker position. Crable is an underrated player and I expect him to become a nice starter for the Patriots.
Kevin O’Connell has all the tools to become a nice back-up in New England. He’s got great size and played very well his senior year. I think he was a nice pick by the Pats.
Jonathan Wilhite is just an ideal corner back athlete. He is very athletic with some nice ball skills and good speed – he is also 5’10 and 185lbs and plays a little bigger because of his spatial skills.
Matt Slater could have been drafted to strictly return punts for the Pats. He was very good at it on a soft UCLA team, and he’s one speedy young fella. Slater will make this team, no doubt in my mind.
Bo Ruud may have fallen so far because the Cornhuskers were TERRIBLE this season. But, I always love when a kid from a bad defense gets drafted by a team that usually drafts very well. I can only imagine that Ruud, despite his team’s failures, is a very good player. I, of course, just know him as part of the group that gave up touchdowns like it was their job.
2007 New England Patriots
What do you know, the Patriots were a very good team in 2006. There seems to be a theme here. Every single year, the Patriots are there to be reckoned with, and while ruling their own division the Patriots were at it again in ’06. Tom Brady didn’t have his best statistical season, but surely he did a lot with a little. In a receiving corps that featured Reche Caldwell and Doug Gabriel at times, Tom Brady still finished the season as one of the best in the game. Free Agent signings should have Brady smiling when he drops back to pass next season. Laurence Maroney looked to be the real deal in his rookie season, rushing for 745 yards and 6 touchdowns while looking dominant at times sharing time with Corey Dillon. With Dillon moving on, Maroney will get his chance to become an All Pro back in his second season. New England’s defense, which lacked key playmakers for much of the season, played pretty well for Coach Belichick. Asante Samuel had a huge season, probably to huge in fact, as he was worth franchising in the minds of Patriot Brass. The offensive line started to gel as the season wore on, setting up a pretty solid group coming back in ’07. Overall, the Patriots played very well, losing to the Super Bowl Champion Colts in the divisional semifinals. Surely, the Patriots will be even more of a force next season, as their free agent additions have made their team much better in so many areas.
2007 Off-Season Plans:
The Patriots have been the biggest players in free agency this season, and honestly I don’t think they’ve overpaid for who they’ve added. First, and probably not most, the Patriots went out and got a younger, faster, and more athletic version of Troy Brown; the player that has exemplified everything good about New England. Wes Welker is the new guy’s name, and if he’s close to what the Patriots think he’s going to be, the little guy will make life much easier on Tom Brady. Another key player added was Adalius Thomas, and he probably is the MOST important of the bunch. Thomas can play ever position on defense, and probably will be put in somewhere on crazy linebacker touchdown catching plays some time during the year. Thomas is huge, fast, strong, and athletic. Plus, he knows football. The Ravens will miss him dearly. For Belichick, Thomas is the perfect fit, as the Patriots love guys who can do it all. AT was the best free agent on the market, and he took a few million less to sign with New England. To quell their wide receiver woes, the Pats also signed former Eagle and Saint, Daunte Stallworth – to a pretty big 6 year deal. However, it could just last a season because the Pats can cut Daunte before a big bonus kicks in, which I imagine they will do, but who knows. The bottom line is, they always give themselves options. Some other great additions thus far; back up rusher Sammy Morris, WR Kelly Washington, blocking TE Kyle Brady, not to mention resigning full back Heath Evans and LB Larry Izzo. The draft will most likely bring in a couple players we can’t believe the Patriots picked, but will turn out to be integral parts of their team. Before free agency, everyone had the Patriots reaching on a receiver with one of their first rounder, however, that dream is dead, not that they would have wasted a first rounder on a receiver any way. That’s why New England is so good, they don’t do things like that. With their two first-rounders, look for the Patriots to find future replacements for guys they will most likely lose next year. An old line-backing crew means a backer could be selected early, and the same goes for Asante Samuel at CB. I have Marcus McCauley and Patrick Willis being chosen by the Pats. I really like both those players, and New England picks good players. We’ll see.