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Jets vs. Patriots Draft Strategy or "Why on Earth is Bill Belichick Considered a Draft Genius?"

One thing that always bugs me, especially now that we're coming up on the draft, is how everybody always bows down to the idol of Bill Belichick and his draft strategy. For those who are unaware, Belichick's strategy is far different than the one our own beloved Jets frequently use. The Pats strategy is to obsessively stockpile draft picks throughout the draft. They frequently trade back (a move the Jets may amazingly enough use this year) to accumulate picks or trade veterans in exchange for picks. The Jets strategy is to trade up and try acquire the best talent possible. The Patriots go for quantity, the Jets for quality. The strategy used by Belichick is consistently fawned over by both the media and fans alike while the Jets system is usually derided as they are frequently left with very few picks. Is this fair though? Let's check it out.

Patriots (courtesy of NFL.com)

2006-2010

2010 - New England Patriots
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 27 Devin McCourty CB Rutgers
2 42 Rob Gronkowski TE Arizona
2 53 Jermaine Cunningham OLB Florida
2 62 Brandon Spikes ILB Florida
3 90 Taylor Price WR Ohio U.
4 113 Aaron Hernandez TE Florida
5 150 Zoltan Mesko P Michigan
6 205 Ted Larsen G North Carolina State
7 208 Thomas Welch OT Vanderbilt
7 247 Brandon Deaderick DE Alabama
7 248 Kade Weston DT Georgia
7 250 Zac Robinson QB Oklahoma State
2009 - New England Patriots
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
2 34 Pat Chung DB Oregon
2 40 Ron Brace DT Boston College
2 41 Darius Butler DB Connecticut
2 58 Sebastian Vollmer T Houston
3 83 Brandon Tate WR North Carolina
3 97 Tyrone McKenzie OLB South Florida
4 123 Rich Ohrnberger G Penn State
5 170 George Bussey T Louisville
6 198 Jake Ingram C Hawaii
6 199 Stryker Sulak DE Missouri
6 207 Myron Pryor DT Kentucky
7 232 Julian Edelman WR Kent State
7 234 Darryl Richard DT Georgia Tech
2008 - New England Patriots
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 10 Jerod Mayo ILB Tennessee
2 62 Terrence Wheatley CB Colorado
3 78 Shawn Crable OLB Michigan
3 94 Kevin O'Connell QB San Diego State
4 129 Jonathan Wilhite CB Auburn
5 153 Matt Slater WR UCLA
6 197 Bo Ruud LB Nebraska
2007 - New England Patriots
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 24 Brandon Meriweather DB Miami (Fla.)
4 127 Kareem Brown DT Miami (Fla.)
5 171 Clint Oldenburg T Colorado State
6 180 Justin Rogers LB Southern Methodist
6 202 Mike Richardson DB Notre Dame
6 208 Justise Hairston RB Central Connecticut State
6 209 Corey Hilliard OT Oklahoma State
7 211 Oscar Lua LB USC
7 247 Mike Elgin G Iowa
2006 - New England Patriots
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 21 Laurence Maroney RB Minnesota
2 36 Chad Jackson WR Florida
3 86 David Thomas TE Texas
4 106 Garrett Mills RB Tulsa
4 118 Stephen Gostkowski K Memphis
5 136 Ryan O'Callaghan T California
6 191 Jeremy Mincey LB Florida
6 205 Dan Stevenson G Notre Dame
6 206 Le Kevin Smith DT Nebraska
7 229 Willie Andrews CB Baylor

 

 

Jets

2010 - New York Jets
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 29 Kyle Wilson CB Boise State
2 61 Vladimir Ducasse T Massachusetts
4 112 Joe McKnight RB USC
5 139 John Conner RB Kentucky
2009 - New York Jets
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 5 Mark Sanchez QB USC
3 65 Shonn Greene RB Iowa
6 193 Matt Slauson G Nebraska
2008 - New York Jets
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 6 Vernon Gholston LB Ohio State
1 30 Dustin Keller TE Purdue
4 113 Dwight Lowery CB San Jose State
5 162 Erik Ainge QB Tennessee
6 171 Marcus Henry WR Kansas
7 211 Nate Garner T Arkansas
2007 - New York Jets
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 14 Darrelle Revis CB Pittsburgh
2 47 David Harris ILB Michigan
6 177 Jacob Bender T Nicholls State
7 235 Chansi Stuckey WR Clemson
2006 - New York Jets
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 4 D'Brickashaw Ferguson T Virginia
1 29 Nick Mangold C Ohio State
2 49 Kellen Clemens QB Oregon
3 76 Anthony Schlegel LB Ohio State
3 97 Eric Smith DB Michigan State
4 103 Brad Smith WR Missouri
4 117 Leon Washington RB Florida State
5 150 Jason Pociask TE Wisconsin
6 189 Drew Coleman CB Texas Christian
7 220 Titus Adams DT Nebraska

 

 

For the time being we'll set 2010 aside. Although it certainly appears as of now that the Pats had the better draft this past year, it's really too early to judge that draft. Meanwhile, let's see what we can take out of the years 2006-2009.

In those 4 years the Pats had 39 selections overall (20 after round 4) while the Jets had just 23 total (9 after round 4). The Patriots, for all their picks have very little to show for those drafts.

In 2006, the Pats had 10 picks and the only ones that became anything were Lawrence Maroney and Stephen Gostkowski. A now washed up RB and a kicker. In 2007, the Pats had 9 picks and the only to do anyhting was Brandon Meriweather, who's decent but wildly overrated. In 2008, the Pats had just 7 selections. The only one to work out at all was Jerod Mayo. He's awesome. The rest reeked. In 2009, the Pats finally showed some drafting decency. They collected an amazing 13 picks. Pat Chung, Ron Brace, Darius Butler, Sebastien Vollmer, Brandon Tate, Myron Pryor and Julian Edelman all have made at least some form of impact although none of them are particularly fantastic.

For those counting at home. That's 39 picks and just 11 players who have turned out OK and just 1 stud (Meyo) and 2 legit starters (not counting Gostkowski), Meriweather and Vollmer (and even Meriweather was benched last year).

As for the Jets.

In 2010 they actually had 10 picks (someone must've spiked Tannenbaum's coffee). They turned that into 2 studs (Mangold and Ferguson) and 4 decent players (Eric and Brad Smith, Leon Washington and Drew Coleman). In 2007, the Jets had just 4 picks and turned that into 2 studs (Revis and Harris) and one decent player (Stuckey had 40 catches last year for the Browns and 32 a few years back). In 2008, the Jets had 6 picks and turned it into 1 legit starter (Keller) and one decent player (Lowery). In 2009, the Jets had just 3 picks and got 1 stud (Sanchez) and 2 legit starters (Greene and Slauson). So out of 23 picks the Jets got 5 studs, 3 legit starters and 6 decent players.

Again for the math

Pats - 39 picks (1 stud, 2 legit starters and 8 decent players)

Jets - 23 picks (5 studs, 3 legit starters and 6 decent players)

And we're not even including the players the veteran players the Jets traded draft picks for (Holmes, Edwards, Cromartie)

So the next time someone wants to knock the Jets drafting down and prop the Pats up, show em this link.

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