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Patriots have highest draft pick investment on Defense and Special Teams, lowest on offense

In terms of adjusted draft position on a per snap basis, the Patriots have the highest draft position for defense (3rd Round, 17th pick) and Special Teams (5th Round, 10th pick) while having the lowest draft position on offense (5th round, 32nd pick).

Considering Bill Belichick's background in defense and special teams, this should be no surprise to Patriots fans.
Considering Bill Belichick's background in defense and special teams, this should be no surprise to Patriots fans.
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick came up through the NFL through a defense and special teams background, so it's no surprise the Patriots are at the top in draft pick investment on defense and special teams. The Patriots have used 15 first round picks since Belichick took over as the head coach in 2000. On the Patriots subreddit, poster VillhelmRothschild posted this spreadsheet that details the average draft position of the roster on a per snap basis.

The offense ranks the lowest with an average draft position of the 32nd pick of the 5th round (~180). The offense only has one active player that was a Top 50 pick in Nate Solder (17th/2011) and Martellus Bennett being the only Day 2 pick. Of course the number is weighed heavily with Tom Brady (199th/2000) as the QB and the highest drafted RB and WR both being in the 4th round since Michael Floyd (13th/2012) hasn't played a down yet. It's pretty amazing that Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels has turned the lowest draft investment on that side of the ball into one of the game's best units.

On defense and special teams, the Patriots rank #1 in investment each. The Patriots have invested 10 of their 15 first round picks on defense compared to only 5 on offense. On the current roster, the Patriots defense has 3 first round picks drafted by the team, although they've added a lot of draft picks to the defense. The defense has 10 former Top 40 picks, although only 9 of them play significant snaps on defense. The Patriots have added six first round picks since March, 5 of them on defense. Of the primary players on defense, only Malcolm Butler went undrafted and Trey Flowers is the only player drafted outside the Top 100 (101st/2015).

The Patriots special teams has a 4th round kicker, a 5th round long snapper, plus two core special teamers drafted in the 5th and 6th rounds. In addition, the Patriots have their young players play on Special Teams, which is a priority when separating players with similar offensive or defensive value. That was why the Patriots drafted Cyrus Jones over others with the 60th pick. Most teams fill out their special teams units with 6th-7th rounders, the 2nd highest team being an average of 10 picks behind the Patriots. Overall, the Patriots are in the middle of the pack when factoring the total snaps, ranking 15th in the NFL in average draft position on a per snap basis.