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Longevity: How The Patriots Draft.

From 1994 - 96' Bill Parcells was the Patriots HC, and then it was Pete Carroll for three years (97' - 99'). From 2000 on we have watched Bill Belichick run the show, and he hasn't disappointed the franchise in the least! In his first year he duplicated what Carroll did during his last year. After that he has won or tied in his division every year! He lost the tie breaker to the Jets in 2002 and to the Dolphins in 2008.

Belichick's first shot at a HC job was a disaster if you ask be. The first mistake he made was accepting the job in Cleveland, but for the 5 years he was there, the team only made it as high as 2nd place in the division once. So what were these three guys doing in 1994?

Bill Parcells, the New England Patriots Head Coach, Finished 1st in the AFC East Division. Bill Belichick, the Cleveland Browns Head Coach, Finished 2nd in AFC Central Division. (He finished 3rd the previous 3 years & 4th in 95' & was fired) Pete Carroll the New York Jets Head Coach, Finished 5th in the AFC East Division, & was fired.

They were all Head Coaches, but three years later Bill Parcells is the only one who kept his job!

What were they doing in 1996?

Bill Parcells, New England Patriots, Head Coach......................AFC Champions
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Assistant HC/Secondary, AFC Champions
Pete Carroll, San Francisco 49ers, Defensive Coordinator, Finished 1st in NFC West Division

After losing the Super Bowl in 96', the two Bill's jumped ship & went to the Jets, and again Bill Parcells was the HC and Bill Belichick was the Assistant HC/Secondary Coach, and the Patriots were forced to steal Pete Carroll away from San Fransisco to be their HC.

All of that stayed in place from 1997 - 99, when Carroll was fired and Bill Belichick was hired by the Patriots, and as they say, the rest is recent history. It has been a stellar performance, but would not have happened with quit the same results if it hadn't been for a 6th round pick in the 2000 draft. Would anyone care to wager what Belichicks W/L record would be right now if he hadn't drafted Tom Brady?

Bill Belichick at NWE.

2000 48 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach
2001 49 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach, Super Bowl Champions
2002 50 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Tied for first place in the division but lost the tie breaker!
2003 51 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach, Super Bowl Champions
2004 52 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach, Super Bowl Champions
2005 53 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Finished 1st in the AFC East Division
2006 54 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Finished 1st in the AFC East Division
2007 55 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach, AFC Champions
2008 56 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Tied for first place in the division but lost the tie breaker!
2009 57 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Finished 1st in the AFC East Division
2010 58 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Finished 1st in the AFC East Division
2011 59 NFL New England Patriots Head Coach Finished 1st in the AFC East Division

In 1999 Pete Carrolls Patriots finished last in the division, but so did Bill Belichick's 2000 team. The only significant difference in 2001 was that Tom Brady got his first start. A Head Coach can look very good with an exceptional QB in the game! Just look at how Peyton Manning carried an average (or below average) team.

Think about it for just a second! How lucky can you get to win the Super Bowl in the very first year you start? Then to win it 3 out of the first 4? How lucky are you as a new HC to win it 3 out of your first 5 years with that team? To go from last place (5W/11L) in your division in 2000 to Super Bowl winners (11W/5L) the next year just doesn't happen every year.

You have all heard the myth about the rich Chinese Realtor right? How do you become rich as a Realtor if the Government owns everything? Well, the coaches who keep drafting QB's in the sixth round thinking they will find "Their Very Own Tom Brady", also believe that China is a democracy.

We know that the AVGY of each round of the draft decreases from the first round on down, and so we have to use the tables for each round to see how the selections measure up. The easiest way to do that is to give each selection and A or a B. The A means that the selection was Above the AVGY for that round, and so the B means it was Below.

A quick review of the first round chart will simplify explaining the additional information we will add that will hopefully give this grading system a little more depth.

FIRST ROUND

Position...# Drafted................AVGY

P/K..................01...............12 years............A 1
O-line..............41...............7.85 years.........A 2
LB's................40...............7.73 years.........A 3
QB's...............32...............7.72 years..........A 4
RB's...............25...............7.64 years..........A 5
DB's...............65...............7.58 years..........A 6
D-Line............76...............7.51 years..........A 7
FIRST ROUND SPLIT (AVGY = 7.48 years)
TE's...............18................7.16 years..........B 8
WR's..............47................6.51 years..........B 9

Any player cut in camp gets an automatic B 10.

CUT's...........................................................B 10

Since drafts vary for the number of picks per team, we must total the numbers and then divide by the number of players selected. With this system, the lower the final # the better the draft was based upon the AVGY. The best possible grade would be an A 1, and the worst would be a B 10. As we grade each round we can easily show if the position selected in that round was an above (A) the AVGY pick or below (B).

So how do these guys measure up in drafting for longevity? Apparently recognizing talent isn't a problem. Each list of the drafts below show the round the player was picked in, the players name, the players position the last year they played, the number of years they played and the longevity selection grade.

1994 Patriots Draft (18 years ago) 10 players selected. Bill Parcells was the HC.

1 Willie McGinest.................... DE 2008 15y A7
2 Kevin Lee.......................... WR 1996 03y B6
3 Ervin Collier.......................... DT CUT 00y B10 (A4)
3 Joe Burch............................... C CUT 00y B10 (A2)
4 John Burke........................... TE 1998 05y B9
5 Pat O'Neill............................... P 1995 02y A1
6 Steve Hawkins..................... WR 1994 01y B9
6 Max Lane............................... T 2000 07y B6
7 Jay Walker........................... QB 1997 04y B6
7 Marty Moore......................... LB 2001 08y A4
Total.............................................................B 6.80
Actual final AVGY................................45/10 = 4.50

Bad draft, bad AVGY. Willie McGinest spent 12 of his 15 years with the Pats & Marty Moore spent all but one there. Max Lane was a keeper for all seven of his.

1995 Patriots Draft (17 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Ty Law............................. DB 2009 15y A6
2 Ted Johnson.................... LB 2004 10y B7
3 Curtis Martin HOF............ RB 2005 11y B7
3 Jimmy Hitchcock............... DB 2002 08y A5
4 Dave Wohlabaugh............. C 2003 09y A4
6 Dino Philyaw.................... RB 1999 05y B8
7 Carlos Yancy................... DB 1995 01y B5
Total.............................................................B 6.0
Actual final AVGY...................................59/7 = 8.42

This was a major recovery from last years draft. Ty Law spent 10 of his 15 years with the Pats, Ted Johnson all 10 of his, Curtis Martin, who was inducted into the HOF in 2012, only spent 3 years with the Pats, and Jimmy Hitchcock & Dave Wohlabaugh each gave them four years, but an 8.42 AVGY blew away all expectations based upon a B 6.0 selection grade.

1996 Patriots Draft (16 years ago) 13 players selected.

1 Terry Glenn................... WR 2007 12y B9
2 Lawyer Milloy.................. DB 2010 15y A3
3 Tedy Bruschi................... LB 2008 13y A3
4 Heath Irwin........................ G 2002 07y A4
4 Chris Sullivan.................. DE 2000 05y A6
4 Kantroy Barber............... RB 1999 04y B8
5 John Elmore .......................G CUT 00y B10 (A4)
5 Christian Peter................ DT 2002 07y A1
6 Chris Griffin...................... TE CUT 00y B10 (B7)
6 Marrio Grier.................... RB 1997 02y B8
6 Devin Wyman.................. DT 1997 02y A4
7 Lovett Purnell ..................TE 1999 04y B8
7 J.R. Conrad....................... G 1997 02y A1
Total.............................................................A 5.76.
Actual final AVGY................................73/13 = 5.61

Well the AVGY beat the NFL averages so that's good. Lawyer Milloy gave them 7 years of 15, Tedy Bruschi gave them all 13 years of his career, Terry Glenn gave 6, Heath Irwin 3, & Christian Peter spent a year on the practice squad and ended up with the Giants the next year.

1997 Patriots Draft (15 years ago) 9 players selected. Pete Carroll was the HC.

1 Chris Canty..................... DB 2000 04y A6
2 Brandon Mitchell............. DE 2004 08y B5
3 Sedrick Shaw.................. RB 1999 03y B7
3 Chris Carter.................... DB 2002 06y A5
4 Damon Denson................. G 1999 03y A4
4 Ed Ellis......................... T 2003 07y A4
5 Vernon Crawford............. LB 1999 03y A5
6 Tony Gaiter.................... WR 1998 02y B9
7 Scott Rehberg................... G 2003 07y A1
Total.............................................................A 5.11
Actual final AVGY..................................43/9 = 4.77

Pete Carroll had a terrible first draft. One guy makes 8 years and he's the best of the nine drafted! When the next two are both O-line guys and they only make seven years then something is wrong.

1998 Patriots Draft (14 years ago) 10 players selected.

1 Robert Edwards.............. RB 2002 05y A5
1 Tebucky Jones................ DB 2005 08y A6
2 Tony Simmons............... WR 2002 05y B6
2 Rod Rutledge.................. TE 2002 05y B9
3 Chris Floyd...................... RB 2000 03y B7
3 Greg Spires..................... DE 2007 10y A4
4 Leonta Rheams............... DT 1998 01y A6
5 Ron Merkerson................. LB CUT 00y B10 (A5)
6 Harold Shaw ....................RB 2000 03y B8
7 Jason Andersen................ G 2002 05y A1
Total.............................................................B 6.2
Actual final AVGY................................45/10 = 4.50

I'm beginning to believe that Pete Carroll doesn't know how to judge talent....

1999 Patriots Draft (13 years ago) 8 players selected.

1 Damien Woody................ C 2010 12y A2
1 Andy Katzenmoyer......... LB 2000 02y A3
2 Kevin Faulk.................... RB 2011 13y B8
3 Tony George.................. DB 2000 02y A5
5 Derrick Fletcher................ T 2005 07y A4
6 M. Washington................ DB CUT 00y B10 (A2)
7 Michael Bishop............... QB 2000 02y B6
7 Sean Morey................... WR 2009 11y B9
Total.............................................................A 5.88
Actual AVGY to date.............................49/8 = 6.13

...and then he surprises me with this draft. RB Kevin Faulk was still on a roster last year, and so until he retires this years AVGY could improve even more.

2000 Patriots Draft (12 years ago) 10 players selected. Bill Belichick is the HC.

2 Adrian Klemm................. G 2005 06y A2
3 J.R. Redmond............... RB 2004 05y B7
4 Greg Randall................... T 2003 04y A4
5 Dave Stachelski............ TE 2001 02y B9
5 Jeff Marriott.................... DT CUT 00y B10 (A1)
6 Antwan Harris................ DB 2003 04y A2
6 Tom Brady.................... QB 2011 12y B5
6 David Nugent................. DE 2002 03y A4
7 Casey Tisdale................. LB CUT 00y B10 (A4)
7 Patrick Pass................... FB 2007 08y B7
Total.............................................................B 6.0
Actual AVGY to date...........................44/10 = 4.40

Bill's first Patriots draft and he gets a QB for life! What luck! After 12 years with the Pats Brady hasn't slowed down yet. Sure, he took a year off while nursing an injury, but I guarantee you he would have rather been playing. Brady rode the pine for a year before he got his chance but has not disappointed anyone since.

Bill scored on this draft by finding Brady! That's all he really needed to do. But Brady is the only one of these ten who is still playing. If it wasn't for him, Bill's first draft would be a colossal disaster! Brady has to play 5 more years just to get this draft class up to the NFL's AVGY of 4.87 years per player.

2001 Patriots Draft (11 years ago) 10 players selected. Super Bowl Champions this year!

1 Richard Seymour............ DE 2011 11y A7
2 Matt Light...........................T 2011 11y A2
3 Brock Williams................ DB 2004 04y A5
4 Kenyatta Jones .................T 2004 04y A4
4 Jabari Holloway............... TE 2003 03y B9
5 Hakim Akbar.................... LB 2002 02y A5
6 Arther Love...................... TE CUT 00y B10 (B7)
6 Leonard Myers............... DB 2003 03y A2
7 Owen Pochman................. K 2003 03y A2
7 T.J. Turner...................... LB 2001 01y A4
Total.............................................................A 5.0
Actual AVGY to date...........................42/10 = 4.20

The draft grade improved this year by a full point, and the fact that Richard Seymour and Matt Light are still active gives this class a chance to meet the minimum AVGY of 4.87 years per player. fortunately they are both linemen and so it is very doable. (They each need 3.5 more years) Matt Light has spent his entire career with the Pats, and Seymour, all but the last 3.

2002 Patriots Draft (10 years ago) 6 players selected.

1 Daniel Graham............... TE 2011 10y B8
2 Deion Branch................ WR 2011 10y B6
4 Rohan Davey................. QB 2004 03y A2
4 Jarvis Green................... DE 2009 08y A6
7 Antwoine Womack........... RB CUT 00y B10 (B7)
7 David Givens................. WR 2006 05y B9
Total.............................................................B 6.83
Actual AVGY to date..............................4/6 = 6.0

Now Bill defies the odds and gets first & second picks who have lasted. Daniel Graham gave the Pats 5 years and Deion Branch left for four, but came back last year.

2003 Patriots Draft (9 years ago) 10 players selected. Super Bowl Champions this year!

1 Ty Warren....................... DE 2011 09y A7
2 Eugene Wilson................ DB 2010 08y A3
2 Bethel Johnson.............. WR 2006 04y B6
4 Dan Klecko .....................DT 2008 06y A6
4 Asante Samuel............... DB 2011 09y A5
5 Dan Koppen..................... C 2011 09y A4
6 Kliff Kingsbury................ QB 2005 03y B5
7 Spencer Nead................. FB 2003 01y B7
7 Tully Banta-Cain............. LB 2010 08y A4
7 Ethan Kelley................... DT 2007 05y A3
Total.............................................................A 5.0
Actual AVGY to date..............................4/10 = 6.20

Nice draft. Three players still active and already well above the AVGY.

2004 Patriots Draft (8 years ago) 8 players selected. Super Bowl Champions this year!

1 Vince Wilfork.................. NT 2011 08y A2
1 Ben Watson ...................TE 2011 08y B8
2 Marquise Hil..................l DE 2006 03y B5
3 Guss Scott..................... DB 2006 03y A5
4 Dexter Reid.................... DB 2006 03y A5
4 Cedric Cobbs................. RB 2006 03y B8
5 P.K. Sam...................... WR 2004 01y B7
7 Christian Morton............. DB 2006 03y B5
Total.............................................................B 5.63
Actual AVGY to date..............................32/8 = 4.0

Owch! Only 2 players left, an O-line guy and a TE. At least Wilfork is still with the team but Watson left for Cleveland after 6 years. Can you believe that 6 out of 8 players lasted for 3 years or less? To many 5 and higher picks. He just lucked out with Watson.

2005 Patriots Draft (7 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Logan Mankins................. G 2011 07y A2
3 Ellis Hobbs...................... DB 2010 06y A5
3 Nick Kaczur........................ T 2009 05y A2
4 James Sanders............... DB 2011 07y A5
5 Ryan Claridge................... LB CUT 00y B10 (A5)
7 Matt Cassel .....................QB 2011 07y B6
7 Andy Stokes..................... TE CUT 00y B10 (B8)
Total...............................................................A 5.71
Actual AVGY to date..............................4/7 = 4.57

Plenty of chances here with 3 players left. This class should do ok. Logan Mankins is still with the team. Sanders left for Atlanta last year and we all know that the fans in KC aren't to pleased with Cassel.

2006 Patriots Draft (6 years ago) 10 players selected.

1 L. Maroney ....................RB 2010 05y A5
2 Chad Jackson............... WR 2008 03y B6
3 David Thomas ................TE 2011 06y B9
4 Garrett Mills.................... FB 2011 06y B8
4 S. Gostkowski................... K 2011 06y A1
5 Ryan O'Callaghan............ T 2011 06y A4
6 Jeremy Mincey............... DE 2011 06y A4
6 Dan Stevenson................. G CUT 00y B10 (B6)
6 LeKevin Smith................ DT 2010 05y A4
7 Willie Andrews................ DB 2007 02y B5
Total............................................................B 5.6
Actual AVGY to date..............................45/10 = 4.50

With half the players left, this group will surely break the NFL AVGY. S. Gostkowski is the only player that stuck in NWE.

2007 Patriots Draft (5 years ago) 9 players selected. AFC Champions this year.

1 B. Meriweather................ DB 2011 05y A6
4 Kareem Brown................ DT 2007 01y A6
5 Clint Oldenburg................. T 2007 01y A4
6 Justin Rogers.................. LB 2009 03y A3
6 Mike Richardson............. DB 2010 04y A2
6 Justise Hairston............... RB CUT 00y B10 (B8)
6 Corey Hilliard.................... T 2011 05y B6
7 Oscar Lua.........................LB CUT 00y B10 (A4)
7 Mike Elgin......................... G CUT 00y B10 (A1)
Total...............................................................A 6.33
Actual AVGY to date...............................19/9 = 2.11

Way to many cuts this year. I suppose when your team is so good you don't really expect all of the draftees to win a job, but the fact that there are only 2 of the 9 still playing says that this was just a bad draft! It will take a huge amount of luck for those two guys to make this years draft anywhere near respectable.

2008 Patriots Draft (4 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Jerod Mayo.....................LB 2011 04y A3
2 T. Wheatley................... DB 2011 04y A3
3 Shawn Crable................ LB 2010 03y A3
3 Kevin O'Connell............ QB 2011 04y A2
4 Jonathan Wilhite............ DB 2011 04y A5
5 Matt Slater.................... WR 2011 04y B7
6 Bo Ruud....................... LB CUT 00y B10 (A3)
Total..............................................................A 4.71

With 5 of the 7 players still active this class has a good chance to show us something.

2009 Patriots Draft (3 years ago) 12 players selected.

2 Patrick Chung................ DB 2011 03y A3
2 Ron Brace...................... DT 2011 03y B5
2 Darius Butler................... DB 2011 03y A3
2 Sebastian Vollmer............. T 2011 03y A2
3 Brandon Tate................ WR 2011 03y B8
3 Tyrone McKenzie............. LB CUT 00y B10 (A3)
4 Rich Ohrnberger............... G 2011 03y A4
5 George Bussey.................. T CUT 00y B10 (A4)
6 Jake Ingram..................... LS 2010 02y B6
6 Myron Pryor.................... DT 2011 03y A4
7 Julian Edelman ..............WR 2011 03y B9
7 Darryl Richard................. DT CUT 00y B10 (A3)
Total..............................................................B 6.0


2010 Patriots Draft (2 years ago) 12 players selected.

1 Devin McCourty............. DB 2011 02y A6
2 Rob Gronkowski............ TE 2011 02y B9
2 J. Cunningham............... LB 2011 02y B7
2 Brandon Spikes............. LB 2011 02y B7
3 Taylor Price................... WR CUT 00y B10 (B7)
4 Aaron Hernandez........... TE 2011 02y B9
5 Zoltan Mesko................... P 2011 02y A3
6 Ted Larsen....................... C CUT 00y B10 (B6)
7 Thomas Welch.................. T CUT 00y B10 (A1)
7 B. Deaderick.................. DE 2011 02y A3
7 Kade Weston.................. DT CUT 00y B10 ( A3)
7 Zac Robinson................. QB CUT 00y B10 (B6)
Total..............................................................B 7.8

I guess that when you have 24 picks in two years you can afford to cut 33.33% of them, but then what is the point of trading to get them in the first place?

2011 Patriots Draft (1 year ago) 9 players selected.

1 Nate Solder.................. OL 2011 01y A2
2 Ras-I Dowling............... DB 2011 01y A3
2 Shane Vereen.............. RB 2011 01y B8
3 Stevan Ridley............... RB 2011 01y B7
3 Ryan Mallett................. QB 2011 01y B6
5 Marcus Cannon............ OL 2011 01y A4
5 Lee Smith ......................TE 2011 01y B9
6 Markell Carter................ LB 2011 01y A3
7 Malcolm Williams........... DB 2011 01y B5
Total............................................................B 5.22

2012 Patriots Draft (0 years ago) 7 players selected.

1 Chandler Jones.............. DE 2012 00y A7
1 Dont'a Hightower............ ILB 2012 00y A3
2 Tavon Wilson................. FS 2012 00y A3
3 Jake Bequette................ DE 2012 00y A4
6 Nate Ebner..................... DB 2012 00y A2
7 Alfonzo Dennard............ CB 2012 00y B5
7 Jeremy Ebert .................WR 2012 00y B9
Total.............................................................A 4.71

Do I think that Bill Belichick is a great coach? I know he took a seventh round QB, Matt Cassel, and plugged him into the line up in 2008 to take over for his 6th round QB who was out for the year, and still tied for first place in his division with a 11 - 5 record, but Miami won the tie breaker. He wins, but then again, how much of that is the Brady factor?

Bill Parcells average draft grade:....B 6.19.............AVGY = 6.17
Pete Carroll average draft grade:....A 5.73............AVGY = 5.13
Bill Belichick average draft grade:...B 5.73............ AVGY = 4.49

Bill Parcells may not have the best draft grade of the group but he isn't that much higher. He is a lot better than the rest in evaluating players who will have above average length in their careers. Belichick has proven that in the eight years that were included in the AVGY study here that he isn't very good at it. His draft classes are well below the NFL averages for longevity.

Where I think that Bill Belichick has excelled is in free agent acquisitions. We have experienced first hand this year that when a team has an Exceptional QB and other players around the league feel that the team has a good shot at the Super Bowl, then they will take a pay cut to play there.

I believe that it is the reason why it has been so easy for Belichick to get excellent FA's to come over for a year or two here and there. Well, that is it for the Patriots. I have a feeling that when Brady retires Bill won't be far behind him.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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