The New England Patriots and Bill Belichick are masters at what they do. Unlike the other teams they do not scout and rank every prospect in every draft. They go out and identify the players that will work in their system, rank them and then go about drafting them. In many cases they trade down acquire more picks and then use their unique system to score on late round picks. In 2009 they had six of the first 97 picks, and now we get to see how they used them.
A quick look at the 2009 Patriots draft class:
- Round Two (34th)- S Patrick Chung
- Round Two (40th)- DT Ron Brace
- Round Two (41st)- CB Darius Butler
- Round Two (58th)- OT Sebastian Vollmer
- Round Three (83rd)- WR Brandon Tate
- Round Three (97th)- LB Tyronne McKenzie
- Round Four (123rd)- G Rich Ohrnberger
- Round Five (170th)- T George Bussey
- Round Six (198th)- LS Jake Ingram
- Round Six (207th)- DT Myron Pryor
- Round Seven (232nd)- WR Julian Edelman
- Round Seven (234th)- DT Darryl Richard
So the Patriots caste a wide net like they usually do. Chung had a slow start but in year two really came one. Ron Brace is the backup NT for this team. Darius Butler is a backup corner, while Vollmer is the starting RT. Tate remains in the mix at wide out, while Tyron McKenzie hurt his knee and is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ohrnberger is a backup guard, and George Bussey remains in the mix along the offensive line.
So with all of these picks the Patriots landed two starters and a handful of quality backups. We call those depth picks and every team has to make them now and again. What is great about this class is once most of these players enter the Patriots system a lot of them develop into starters down the road. In year one this class looked a little weak, but now their upside is showing.
- Joshua Lobdell.com