For every Tom Brady, there's a Ryan Claridge. The New England Patriots have been known throughout the league for their year in and year out success in running the draft since 2001. However, I want to see if the people directly responsible for the drafted players' growth- the positional coaches- really do have an effect upon how successful a player will be in the NFL.
The Patriots have been known to grab any special teams player they think will fit on their team. The benefit of trading down, as well as having so many compensatory selections, is that the Patriots always have a large quantity of late round selections. Usually, only the top 2-3 kickers and punters get drafted every year and the Patriots have been able to take the best available.
ST Coach – Brad Seely (01-08)
2001, 7th – Owen Pochman K
Stats: Didn’t make the roster because Adam Vinatieri. Out of Football.
Pochman never made it out of training camp- lucky us. We had Vinatieri to help us win three Super Bowls.
2006, 4th – Stephen Gostkowski K
Stats: All Pro and current starting K for the New England Patriots.
Gostkowski was our first great special teams selection of this decade. Gostkowski had humongous cleats to fill when Vinatieri walked to Indianapolis and Gostkowski has done an extremely good job as our kicker. He has strength that Vinatieri never had and is able to kick the ball out of the end zone on kick offs. He can hit the long field goal and he can make every extra point. He should be with us for many years to come.
ST Coach – Scott O’Brien (09-)
2009, 6th – Jake Ingram LS
Stats: Current starting LS for the New England Patriots.
After long time long snapper Lonnie Paxton headed out of New England, the Patriots needed to fill a spot often out of the lime light. I'm pretty sure the only time Ingram's name has been said has been when announcers comment that Paxton is no longer on our roster. That's a good thing. The less we hear of Ingram, the better he must be doing.
2010, 5th – Zoltan Mesko P
While there is only a small sample size for special teams players, when there is a need for a player the Patriots will take one in the draft. That drafted player will make the roster and do well. Look for Mesko to continue that tradition.
Players drafted: 4
# Coach T/Os: 1
Players with playing experience: 2
Players considered a success: 2
Success Rate of Draft Picks: 66%
Success Rate of Players who See the Field: 100%