If you’re grading drafts, there are lots of As and Bs to hand out after the first three rounds. But it’s what teams do in Rounds 4-7 that can make a good draft great.And no one knows the draft board — the entire draft board — like Patriots coach Bill Belichick. There are no throwaway picks when the Patriots are on the clock. New England has become the NFL’s dominant team because the Patriots own the back end of the draft.
Gosselin is one of the most respected football writers out there, so obviously, as you can see above, he gets it. As much as the draft and all the amateur draftniks out there annoy me, there’s a special place in my heart for those who still try to tell me “Belichick can’t draft” or “Belichick the GM doesn’t help Belichick the coach”.
This assumes that somewhere out there there’s someone who CAN draft. Someone who hits on every pick. Someone who would never draft Ras-I Dowling 33rd overall. Okay, maybe that one has a point.
But the draft is really just an elaborate lottery. Even the guys making the picks don’t know for sure how any selection will truly work out. You see their body of work in college, their timed measurables, you’ve talked to them, maybe even brought them into the facility and shown them around, but when training camp rolls around no one knows for sure how the player will respond.
How will he handle not being the most talented player on the field anymore? How will he handle having a fat bank account? How will he handle not getting the playing time he wants? How will he pick up the playbook? Will his career just be injury after injury?
NOBODY KNOWS. It’s impossible to know. So for every seven-round mock draft out there by some random dude in the proverbial Mom’s basement, there’s guys like Mel Kiper who might be just as wrong.