If you’re too young to remember it, or haven’t gone back through as much OG New England Patriots dynasty lore as some of us obsessive fans have, some of the local reaction when Bill Belichick spent the 6th overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft on a Georgia D-lineman named Richard Seymour are all-timers on Freezing Cold Takes.
Check this out, in all it’s icy glory, from the Globe’s Ron Borges:
Boston Globe columnist Ron Borges was appalled by the Patriots’ first two selections in the 2001 NFL Draft, grading their draft a D-.
“You hate to fail anyone who shows up for class but what are they doing? If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Jets sent Bill Belichick north to destroy the Patriots from within. On a day when they could have had impact players David Terrell or Koren Robinson or the second-best tackle in the draft in Kenyetta Walker, they took Georgia defensive tackle Richard Seymour, who had 1 1/2 sacks last season in the pass-happy SEC and is too tall to play tackle at 6-6 and too slow to play defensive end. This genius move was followed by trading out of a spot where they could have gotten the last decent receiver in Robert Ferguson and settled for tackle Matt Light, who will not help anytime soon.”
I guess Tommy Callahan was right, they give a lot more D-minuses than D-plusses, D+ isn’t a grade that they like to give out.
Compare that with Bill Belichick’s recollection of analyzing Big Sey going into that draft:
“I hate to put a comparison on him because he is a little bit different,” Belichick said. “He is a taller kid for a tackle, but he does play inside and he is a pretty athletic kid. I think really the adjectives describe him better than trying to say he is this guy or that guy. We don’t really have anybody and there are not a lot of people – and I would say there are not a lot of people in the draft, either – that are going to fit his dimensions.
“A lot of the people who could play inside or outside are either bigger, definitely inside players or the 250-to-270-pound defensive end-type that are clearly outside players. This is a 300-pounder that can play outside, has played outside, and also has played inside and he is pretty athletic for that size.”
“He is big. He’s athletic. He plays hard,” Belichick said of the film. “He is a high-effort player and, again, his versatility. You see the guy making plays at the point of attack, being able to handle himself with size and power. He is a 300-pounder. You can also see him run and making plays down the field.”
Bill, this may be a blazing hot and controversial take, but I think “he is a little bit different” held up pretty well.
Look, analyzing the draft is hard. If you’re reading this here website, you know this. If you follow any draft analysts, you know this. It’s the farthest possible sports experience from an exact science, and frankly, it can be hit-or-miss enough that sometimes it feels like it’s just better to be lucky than good.
That being said, though, here’s today’s question to all the Pulpit readers help us pass the time and have some fun this offseason:
Which Patriots draft picks did you absolutely nail and get 100% right? Like not only predicting that the Patriots would take a certain player, but also being like “this guy is going to wreck stuff in the league, just you wait and see” and then it turns out you were dead-on balls accurate?
Or, if you prefer to laugh at your own failures instead of celebrate your W’s: which Patriots draft picks were you absolutely convinced were going to light it up once they got to New England, and then they ended up either face-planting or they were just kind of....meh?
So, we want your stories. The more detail, the better. We want you to brag about your great picks and analysis that turned out to be basically Pats-stradamus, and if you’d rather, you can roast yourself for thinking Bethel Johnson would be torching secondaries for the next decade.
Also, one quick note - this doesn’t have to be just Belichick/Dynasty-Era draft picks either. If you were all about the draft in Fairbanks era or what have you, feel free to take your victory lap if you called the Stanley Morgan pick, by all means, educate the youths with your knowledge of the red-jersey Pat-logo Patriots.
We’re going to compile all your stories into a monster blog kind of like we did when I asked you all to tell your craziest fantasy football stories, with a bunch of the staff writers pitching in and all your best draft takes that either turned out amazing or freezing-ass cold. Here’s how to get your stories in:
- Leave it in the comments on this article.
- Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If for some reason Twitter DMs are your thing, you can send them to @GooseOnBass
We’re excited to hear ‘em. Let’s do this.