Bill Belichick’s Best Picks in Rounds Four Through Seven

June 21, 2022
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Bill Belichick has many late-round draft picks who have impacted the Patriots dynasty. Day Three picks have played critical roles at every position, which is a testament to the Patriots’ scouting and player development. So today, I will be making a team of Belichick’s top late-round picks as Patriots coach.

How I Will Decide Who Makes The List

The players will be decided ONLY by their time as Patriots and by position. My team will have enough players to fit any formation of the modern NFL.

Offense: One Quarterback, One Fullback, Two Running Backs, Five Wide Receivers, Three Tight Ends, Two Offensive Tackles, Two Offensive Guards, and One Center.

Defense: Two Defensive Ends, Two Defensive Tackles, Four Linebackers, Four Cornerbacks, Two Safeties

Special Teams: One Kicker, One Punter, One Long Snapper, One Special Teams Legend

Bill Belichick’s Best Picks

Tom Brady is Bill Belichick’s GOAT everything but, most of all, the GOAT late-round pick by Bill Belichick.

Quarterback

Tom Brady- Sixth Round, 199th Pick, 2000

It can’t get any easier than selecting the GOAT in Round 6. Since this was so obvious, let’s review his stats as a Patriot and look at them.

  • Seventeen seasons of ten or more wins (NFL Record)
  • Eleven 4000-yard passing seasons
  • Seven seasons with 30+ touchdown passes
  • Seventeen seasons with 20+ touchdown passes (NFL Record)
  • Twelve seasons averaging more than 250 passing yards per game
  • Six seasons with a passer rating over 100.0

Fullback

Patrick Pass- Seventh Round, 239th Pick, 2000

He played seven seasons in New England, where he was a part of three Super Bowl championship teams. Pass was an excellent receiver for a fullback and went over 200 receiving yards in a season while rushing for over 200 yards in ’05. Overall he rushed for 526 yards and three touchdowns while catching 66 passes for 570 yards and a touchdown.

Running Back

James White- Fourth Round, 130th Pick, 2014

White was the Super Bowl LI hero and a three-time World Champ. Primarily a receiving back, he caught 50 or more passes four times and went over 500 receiving yards in his career. His best season came in 2018, where he caught 87 passes for 751 yards and seven scores; he also added 425 yards and five scores on the ground.

Overall he caught 381 passes for 3278 yards and 25 TDs while rushing for 1278 yards and 11 scores. In that famous Super Bowl LI triumph (which he should have won MVP), he caught 14 passes for 110 yards and a score while rushing for 29 yards and two TDs, including the game-winner (he also scored a crucial two-point-conversion).

Rhamondre Stevenson- Fourth Round, 120th Pick, 2021

There were not many successful late-round running backs this century for the Pats, but Stevenson had a solid rookie season rushing for 606 yards, five scores, and 14 catches for 123 yards receiving. I am excited to see how he does as the number two running back next year behind Damien Harris.

Wide Receiver

Julian Edelman- Seventh Round, 232nd Pick, 2009

The former quarterback turned into one of the best receivers of the Brady-Belichick Era. Julian Edelman will undoubtedly be in the Patriots Hall of Fame very soon (if he doesn’t come back and play (which he recently teased us about doing)).

Edelman accrued 620 catches, 6822 yards, and 36 touchdowns in twelve seasons, having two seasons with over 100 catches and three seasons of over 1000 yards. He is second all-time in postseason receiving yards with 1442 and won the Super Bowl LII MVP with ten catches for 141 yards and the only touchdown of the game scored by either team. He also had over 100 yards and a score in Super Bowl XLIX.

David Givens- Seventh Round, 253rd Pick, 2022

He played four seasons in New England, winning two Super Bowls (scoring a touchdown in both) and went for over 500 yards in three of his four seasons in New England. Givens had 158 catches for 2214 yards and 12 scores as a Patriot.

Malcolm Mitchell- Fourth Round, 112th Pick, 2016

He played just one season in the NFL but was instrumental in winning the Super Bowl against the Falcons. He had 32 catches for 401 yards and four TDs and is now a children’s book author.

Josh Boyce- Fourth Round, 102nd Pick, 2013

He played just two seasons (and only one game in his second but got a Super Bowl ring out of it). He Had nine catches for 121 yards in his rookie season.

P.K. Sam- Fifth Round, 164th Pick, 2004

This is the weakest inclusion on the list as he only played two games with no catches (but got a ring).

Tight End

Aaron Hernandez- Fourth Round, 113th Pick, 2010

He was a troubled person (only on this list because he is (otherwise, he would likely have been a second-round pick)) but was a great football player in his short time in New England. He was half the greatest tight end tandem of all time, and who knows how his career (and life) would have gone if he had not committed two murders. Hernandez Had 175 catches for 1956 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons.

Ryan Izzo- Seventh Round, 250th Pick, 2018

He had 19 catches for 313 yards and a score in two seasons in New England.

Offensive Tackle

Marcus Cannon- Fifth Round, 138th Pick, 2011

He played in 115 games in nine seasons as a Patriot, winning three rings. One of the better picks to come from the 2011 draft.

Cameron Fleming- Fourth Round, 140th Pick, 2014

Play 47 games as a Patriot winning two Super Bowls in his four seasons.

Guard

Shaq Mason- Fourth Round, 131st Pick, 2015

Originally drafted as a center, he quickly moved over to guard and played 103 games in seven seasons while winning two Super Bowls before leaving as a free agent as the next Patriot to join Brady in Tampa.

Ted Karras- Sixth Round, 221st Pick, 2016

He had two stints in New England, where he played 77 games and won two Super Bowls.

Center

Dan Koppen- Fifth Round, 164th Pick, 2008

He played 121 games in nine seasons in New England while winning two Super Bowls and made a Pro Bowl.

Defensive End

Trey Flowers- Fourth Round, 101st Pick, 2015

Four seasons in New England resulted in 21 sacks, 25 TFLs, five forced fumbles, and six passes defenses, winning two Super Bowls, and had 2.5 sacks in Super Bowl LI.

Jarvis Green- Fourth Round, 126th Pick, 2002

Eight seasons in New England, winning two rings getting 28 sacks, and forcing five fumbles.

Defensive Tackle

Dan Klecko- Fourth Round, 117th Pick, 2003

How two sacks and two TFLs in three seasons in New England, winning two championships.

Byron Cowart- Fifth Round, 159th Pick, 2019

He had a solid sophomore season in 2020, with 27 tackles, three TFLs, and a sack. I hope he comes back next season after missing last season through injury.

Linebacker

Tully Banta-Cain- Seventh Round, 239th Pick, 2003

He had eight sacks, 190 tackles, 24 TFL’s and a pick in six seasons over two stints in New England while winning two Super Bowls and having a ten-sack season in 2009.

Ja’Whaun Bentley- Fifth Round, 143rd Pick, 2018

Bentley won a Super Bowl in his rookie year. He has 258 tackles and 11 TFLs in his four seasons and had his best season yet with 109 tackles last year with a sack and three forced fumbles.

Elandon Roberts- Sixth Round, 214th Pick, 2016

The two-time champion had 206 tackles, 15 TFLs, and four sacks in four seasons in New England.

Hakim Akbar- Fifth Round, 163rd Pick, 2001

He played just six games and had just five tackles, but he got a ring out of it.

Cornerback

Asante Samuel- Fourth Round, 120th Pick, 2003

Samuel had five outstanding seasons in New England. He had 22 picks and returned three for touchdowns. He led the league with ten interceptions in ’06. He also made a Pro Bowl, won two Super Bowls, and defended four passes in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Alfonzo Dennard- Seventh Round, 224th Pick, 2012

He had five picks in three years, taking one 87 yards to the house, and won a Super Bowl.

Jonathan Wilhite- Fourth Round, 129th Pick, 2008

He had three picks in three seasons in New England and made 93 tackles.

Leonard Myers- Sixth Round, 200th Pick, 2001

He won a Super Bowl, made 23 tackles, and defended two passes in two seasons.

Safety

James Sanders- Fourth Round, 133rd Pick, 2005

Six seasons in New England, making 209 tackles, defending 19 passes, and getting eight picks, two of which he took to the house.

Antwan Harris- Sixth Round, 187th Pick, 2000

Four seasons in New England where he made 52 tackles, got a pick, a sack, and two rings.

Kicker

Stephen Gostkowski- Fourth Round, 118th Pick, 2006

He had huge shoes to fill, and he filled them well. He was drafted to replace future HOF Adam Vinatieri and surpassed him in field goal percentage and field goals. He is the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer with 1775 points, made four Pro Bowls, and earned two First-Team All-Pro selections while winning three Super Bowls.

Punter

Jake Bailey- Fifth Round, 163rd Pick, 2019

He has played three seasons in New England, averaged 46.7 yards per punt, and was a First-Team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 2020.

Long Snapper

Joe Cardona- Fifth Round, 166th Pick, 2015

The only long snapper drafted by Bill Belichick, he has played seven seasons in New England, winning two Super Bowls (and was a key factor in the military allowing players from military academies to play pro sports before serving).

Special Teams Legend

Matthew Slater- Fifth Round, 153rd Pick, 2008

Drafted as a wide receiver but quickly found a home as a special teams legend. 2806 of his 3031 plays have come on special teams. He has had 172 tackles on special teams, made ten Pro Bowls, won three Super Bowls, and has been a First-Team All-Pro twice in what could be a Hall of Fame career. No player who played primarily on special teams has made the Hall of Fame. However, all 34 eligible players who made ten or more Pro Bowls are in the Hall of Fame.

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