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Forbes Magazine Says Patriots Are The NFL's Worst Drafters

An interesting (though somewhat bizarre) article in Forbes Magazine rating the drafting success of each of the NFL's 32 teams. 

Here's a thought: Instead of looking at how many draftees make the team's active roster, a better barometer of success might be a survey of the last three years of drafts for all 32 NFL teams.

To judge them, we looked at the percentage of players from those three draft classes who were still listed as active members of the team. The results were surprising.

Yeah, I'll say they were surprising.  The top three teams were the Texans (who needed to keep the guys they drafted since they didn't have anybody on the roster), the Colts and the Giants.  Hmmm.   I guess I can't argue with the success of the Colts and Giants.

The worst team in the NFL?  The New England Patriots.

I immediately thought the reason the Pats came in last was that they don't usually need to draft starters.  Guys they draft tend to be for depth, not because there's a gaping hole.  I'll give them credit, there really haven't been any gaping holes in the Pats' lineup the past three years. 

But then I decided to look back at their draft history.  For fantasy-related purposes, I'm only looking at QB, RB, WR, TE and K.  If you want to argue that they've been masters of the defensive draft, I'm not arguing with you here.


Round 1 - RB Laurence Maroney (passed on DeAngelo Williams and Joseph Addai)

Round 2 - WR Chad Jackson (passed on Greg Jennings)

Round 3 - TE David Thomas (passed on Owen Daniels)

Round 4 -  RB Garrett Mills (passed on Leon Washington)

Round 4 - K Stephen Gostkowski



Round 6 - RB Justise Hairson (passed on Ahmad Bradshaw)



Round 3 - QB Kevin O'Connell

Round 5 - WR Matthew Slater


It's too early to decide how the 2008 guys will turn out.  O'Connell might be a great QB -- in fact, he may be starting this year depending on how Brady is doing.  But the previous two draft years, quite frankly, stunk.  

Yeah, yeah, I know, the Patriots are a great team, I'm not arguing that.  They have a regular season record of 39-9 over those three seasons so they're usually drafting at the end of the round and they're not looking to draft stars.  I get it, I really do. 

But, that's not good.  How many 16-0 seasons would the Patriots have put together with Joseph Addai, Greg Jennings and Leon Washington on their team the past three years?   That's freaking scary.

So while I think the Forbes article is flawed in a lot of ways, they do make a good point.  The Patriots have not done well drafting the fantasy positions (except for kicker) the past three years.   Like most people, I had assumed that the Patriots had been draft geniuses.