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Pats Madness: Voting continues in the second two regions!

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Related: Pats Madness: Voting in the first two regions has started!

Filling out brackets is a March tradition. It’s no different here at Pats Pulpit. Last year, we looked at the best games of the New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick era, which was fun, but this year, we’re doing something a little different: we decided to take a look at the biggest busts of the Belichick era.

They could be draft picks, free agent signings, or trade acquisitions. We picked 32 of the biggest disappointments, and arranged them into a bracket for you to fill out.

Today, voting continues with the second two regions — named after players the Patriots missed out on in order to get some of the busts on our list: the Mark Andrews Region and the Keenan Allen Region. Make sure to vote in every one of the matchups and discuss your choices in the comment section below!

(Note: if you’re visiting via Google AMP or Apple News go to the full website version to vote)

#1 Duke Dawson Jr. vs #8 Joey Galloway

#1 CB Duke Dawson: The Patriots traded up to get Dawson and effectively used second- and fourth-round picks to get the Florida Gator. He was considered to be one of the elite slot corners in the 2018 draft, but when Dawson got to the Patriots, it was apparent pretty much right away that he wasn’t going to have an impact. He was placed on temporary injured reserve in September of his rookie year, but he never appeared in a single game after being reactivated. Before the 2019 season, he was traded, along with a seventh-round pick, to the Texans for a sixth-round selection. Dawson has the singular honor of being the only player Bill Belichick drafted in the first or second round to not make it into year two with the team. Pretty horrendous return for a guy the Patriots clearly targeted in the draft.

#8 WR Joey Galloway: By the time Galloway got to New England, he was 38 years old, so he was clearly past his prime. There was, however, optimism that he would be able to help the Patriots’ receiving corps, as he had put up three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons before getting hurt in 2008. Instead, he caught seven passes in the first three weeks of the season, was a healthy scratch for the next three games, and then was cut. 2009 was a tough year for Tom Brady and the Patriots, and Galloway certainly didn’t help.

Poll

#1 Duke Dawson vs #8 Joey Galloway

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    Duke Dawson
    (224 votes)
  • 9%
    Joey Galloway
    (24 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now

#4 Albert Haynesworth vs #5 Bethel Johnson

#4 DT Albert Haynesworth: The Patriots sent a fifth-round pick to the Redskins for the troubled defensive tackle, in the hopes of improving their defense in 2011. He had once been a dominant player, but hadn’t shown any of his greatness in Washington that he had in Tennessee. The hope was that the Patriots would be able to turn his production around with a change in his attitude. He was only 30 years old, after all, and should have had quite a bit of NFL life left. Instead, Haynesworth played in only six games, recording three total tackles. He was released a few days after getting into an altercation on the sideline with assistant coach Pepper Johnson.

#5 WR Bethel Johnson: Another player the Patriots traded up for: New England sent a fourth-round selection to the Panthers to move up five spots and take the speedy wide receiver from Texas A&M. He had a few moments in the return game, and even made a few very nice catches, but he finished his career with only 39 receptions and only four touchdowns.

Poll

#4 Albert Haynesworth vs #5 Bethel Johnson

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Albert Haynesworth
    (192 votes)
  • 24%
    Bethel Johnson
    (61 votes)
253 votes total Vote Now

#6 Shaun Ellis vs #3 Chad Johnson

#6 LB Shaun Ellis: The Patriots signed Ellis to a one-year, $5 million contract at the beginning of the 2011 season. He was 34, but just a year removed from playing at a Pro Bowl level. Ellis was a complete non-factor for the Patriots, however. He would finish the season with 14 tackles, and add a sack in the blowout playoff win against the Broncos. In a season where the Patriots defense really struggled, he ideally would have helped the team. He did not, though. Ellis, by the way, is the player that the Jets drafted with the pick the Patriots traded them for Bill Belichick, so he does have that going for him.

#3 WR Chad Johnson: Another player from the 2011 season, Johnson was a guy who famously had a great relationship with Bill Belichick. He was a beast in Cincinnati and made six Pro Bowls — the last of which happening in 2009. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily to understand New England’s playbook, and had trouble building a rapport with Tom Brady. He would finish the season with 15 catches, and add only a single reception in the playoffs. When Rob Gronkowski went down before Super Bowl 46, the Patriots lost their best receiving weapon. Had Johnson, who still went by Ochocinco back in 2011, been able to give any semblance of that, the Patriots might have actually won a championship. The Patriots would release him in June of 2012, before the start of the next season.

Poll

#6 Shaun Ellis vs #3 Chad Johnson

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Shaun Ellis
    (30 votes)
  • 87%
    Chad Johnson
    (218 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now

#7 Shawn Springs vs #2 Jordan Richards

#7 CB Shawn Springs: When the former first-round pick was brought in before the 2009 season, he was already an older player. New England still gave him a three-year, $9.75 million deal, worth $4.5 million in the first season. Based on that information, the Patriots obviously expected him to play at a starter’s level. Unfortunately, that’s not really what they got: Springs would finish the season with 40 tackles and only one interception. The Patriots would go on to draft Devin McCourty in the first round (a cornerback at the time), and cut Springs shortly after.

#2 SS Jordan Richards: Confession time: I really liked Jordan Richards, and wanted him to be good. His nickname is college was “Coach” because he knew everyone’s assignments on every play. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate into him being a good football player. Richards was another example of Belichick reaching on a safety that was projected to be drafted way later than he was. Richards was projected as a late-round talent, and Belichick took him at the end of the second instead. He is also one of the most unique players on this list, as it wasn’t what he didn’t do that drew the most ire from Patriots fans, but more what he did do. He was on the field for a good chunk of Super Bowl 52, and he wasn’t just bad, he was historically awful — unable to effectively cover, or tackle, any Eagles player. Richards is a smart player, who is a solid special teamer, and will probably make a good coach one day, but just can’t play defense.

Poll

#7 Shawn Springs vs #2 Jordan Richards

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Shawn Springs
    (38 votes)
  • 84%
    Jordan Richards
    (212 votes)
250 votes total Vote Now

Let’s move on to the matchups of the Keenan Allen Region!

#1 Ras-I Dowling vs #8 Fred Taylor

#1 CB Ras-I Dowling: Is it possible that Dowling is the singular worst draft pick of the Bill Belichick era? Yes, it is. He was taken 33rd overall, the first pick of the second round. That meant that the entire league had the night to think about what it wanted to do, and instead of taking any number of trades, or a better player, Belichick took Dowling. The Patriots hoped the big-bodied cornerback from Virginia would give them some versatility at the position. As it turned out, he was placed on injured reserve two games into his rookie year, and was placed on IR again midway through his sophomore campaign. He would be cut before the next season, putting his total games played for the Patriots at just nine. It’s one of the biggest whiffs in the Belichick era, and they never really recovered at corner until they brought in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in 2014.

#8 RB Fred Taylor: I almost didn’t put Taylor on this list, because he was so old when the Patriots first picked him up. They did, however, give the then-33-year-old a two-year, $5 million contract, so they were clearly hoping to get some good production from him. They did not. He put up a total of just over 400 yards in two seasons, and never really had an impact on the field. If we were ranking these players in order of their bustiness (hehe), he would probably be No. 32, but he’s still on this list.

Poll

#1 Ras-I Dowling vs #8 Fred Taylor

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Ras-I Dowling
    (238 votes)
  • 3%
    Fred Taylor
    (8 votes)
246 votes total Vote Now

#4 Mike Gillislee vs #5 Michael Bennett

#4 RB Mike Gillislee: The Patriots had high hopes for Gillislee when they signed him away from the Bills. Not only did they give him a two-year, $6.4 million contract, but they gave up a fifth-round pick to do so, since he was a restricted free agent. He ended up playing in only nine games, rushing for 383 yards and five touchdowns. He was inactive for all three playoff games during his tenure, and was cut before the 2018 season, when he was passed in camp by Jeremy Hill.

#5 DE Michael Bennett: The Patriots traded a fifth-round pick for Bennett right around this time last year, and they thought he would be a big help on an already strong defensive line that was due to lose Trey Flowers in free agency. Unfortunately, that’s not really how it played out. After six games and 2.5 sacks, he had an argument about “philosophical differences” and was suspended by the team for a game. The Patriots would lift the suspension, only to trade him to the Cowboys for what would eventually become a sixth-round pick. Did they give up a ton to get him? No, but, based on the caliber of the player they were getting, it’s surprising they didn’t receive more production out of him.

Poll

#4 Mike Gillislee vs #5 Michael Bennett

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Mike Gillislee
    (101 votes)
  • 58%
    Michael Bennett
    (145 votes)
246 votes total Vote Now

#6 Adrian Klemm vs #3 Terrence Wheatley

#6 OT Adrian Klemm: Adrian Klemm is another trivia answer, this time the question being: Who was Bill Belichick’s first draft pick with the Patriots? He drafted the tackle out of Hawaii in the second round back in 2000, and Klemm would spend five seasons with the Patriots, starting a total of 10 games. He never developed into the player Belichick and the Patriots had hoped, however. Luckily they drafted a pretty good left tackle in the second round in 2001 to fill that spot: Matt Light.

#3 CB Terrence Wheatley: Wheatley was taken at the end of the second round in 2008 out of Colorado. It was evident pretty early on that he wasn’t very good, and even lost out on playing time to fellow rookie Jonathan Wilhite (who also wasn’t all that good). Wheatley ended his career in New England playing in 11 total games and recording four career tackles.

Poll

#6 Adrian Klemm vs #3 Terrence Wheatley

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Adrian Klemm
    (75 votes)
  • 68%
    Terrence Wheatley
    (163 votes)
238 votes total Vote Now

#7 Kony Ealy vs #2 Aaron Dobson

#7 DE Kony Ealy: This is the “Felger and Mazz Special” right here. They tried to tell people for months that the Patriots traded a second-round pick to Carolina for Ealy, and, while that is half true, it’s not really what happened. The Patriots actually moved down just eight spots, from the end of the second to the top of the third, to acquire Ealy. Yes, it was just eight picks, but in the span of those eight picks, Alvin Kamara and Cooper Kupp were both drafted. Yikes. Anyway, Ealy was terrible and cut in August, before ever playing a game for the Patriots. A long fall for a guy who had a shot at Super Bowl MVP if his team hadn’t choked.

#2 WR Aaron Dobson: This one hurts my heart. I wanted Aaron Dobson to be good so damn badly. Everyone remembers the ridiculous one handed catch in the back of the end zone for Marshall, and that fact that he supposedly had fantastic hands. Well, that simply wasn’t the case. Dobson was slow, soft, and was a double-catch machine, never seeming to come down with a ball cleanly. He was relied on in 2013, and, while he certainly wasn’t very good, he also wasn’t the worst. But, then again, he was passed on the depth chart by undrafted rookie free agent Kenbrell Thompkins, which is never a good sign. He would finish his last two seasons with the Patriots with a total of 16 catches, and was cut before the 2016 season. It’s tough to have a guy pegged as one thing and have him be the complete opposite player, but that’s exactly what Dobson was. Seemingly worse than his bad hands and plodding speed was his unwillingness to fight for contested catches, something that popped in his college tape. Dobson is one of the most infamous busts of the Belichick era and more than deserving of a #2 seed in this bracket.

Poll

#7 Kony Ealy vs #2 Aaron Dobson

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Kony Ealy
    (92 votes)
  • 62%
    Aaron Dobson
    (155 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now