So a friend has asked me to pen some thoughts on the New England Patriots draft of 2007. His thesis is the following: you really need three years to judge a draft and so let’s go back and take a look at 2007.
Ok, This has got to be a trap, right? Someone thinks they have me pinned down and I will have to concede that the Pats had some miserable draft where only one “drafted” player is still with the team. Along those lines, that draft looks like a horror show, right? Maybe a D? D minus? Or did it just happen to be one of the great drafts in NFL history? Are we talking A plus?
Yes we are!
The basics don’t look so hot. The Pats drafted nine players that year and only one is still with the team. Brandon Meriweather outwitted, outplauyed and outlasted the other eight and he is the sole survivor of the Pats 2007 draft class. Brandon isn’t a bad player. In fact, he is a pretty good player. He isn’t elite but he had nine picks last year, a couple of sacks, and got himself invited to a pro-bowl. For the 24th player selected, that is good stuff. Good enough to front a very good draft class assuming the supporting class includes a couple of starters and maybe a nice sub or two.
But in this case, the class itself includes none of that. But I’ll tell you what that draft did bring and this is impossible to top. It netted Wes Welker and Randy Moss, the former for a second round pick and the latter came courtesy of a fourth rounder. Not in the history of football has so much value been acquired for so little.
Since that time, all Moss has done is catch 47 regular season touchdowns and been named first team All-Pro in 2007. And Welker, well he too has been named first-team All-Pro (not to be confused with that diluted Pro bowl designation) and his resume is highlighted by THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX CATCHES in 46 regular games. Let that sink in ….346. The HIGHEST three-year total in NFL history. For a second rounder! I think that is called a home run.
If those spoils weren’t enough, the Pats also pulled off one of their patented draft-day swaps in 2007 where they got the Niners to trade their first in 2008 for the Pats first in 2007. The Niners ended up taking lineman Joe Staley at number 28. The next year, the Pats used the Niners pick (#10) to select Jerrod Mayo and he turned out to be the AFC’s Defensive ROY. Who wants pie because that is another walkoff.
So, in one draft, the Pats got two All-Pro receivers, a pro-bowl safety and pick that turned into a highly competent linebacker. Not much else to speak of so I guess there is a small deduction in the depth category. But the balance ….. well I wouldn’t trade that haul for any draft in recent memory.
Thankfully I wasn’t asked to write this up a year ago as the results from 2006 were not quite so appetizing.