Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pats' 2013 draft doesn't look very Belichick-esque


Under Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots have typically played the odds in the draft -- stockpile as many picks as possible, throw them against the wall and see what sticks.

This April, not so much. (photo: Keith Allison, Flickr)

New England holds just five selections for the upcoming draft, which, if nothing changes, will be the fewest in franchise history.

From 2000-2012, the first 13 years of Bill Belichick's tenure in Foxborough, New England averaged nine picks per draft. In six of those drafts, the Patriots had double-digits worth of picks, including 12-pick campaigns in 2009 and 2010, according to ESPN Boston.

Belichick & Co.'s hefty bag of selections each season has allowed New England to take a few flyers, but it'll need to be pretty stout this time around. It's hard to imagine the Patriots won't trade back at least once to double up, but that'll all depend on what's available when the time comes.

The Pats have shown ability to make due with short supply in the past, however. In 2002, New England had six selections, which remains the franchise-low until 2013's version is over. That year, the Patriots drafted tight end Daniel Graham in the first round, receiver Deion Branch in the second, defensive end Jarvis Green in the fourth and receiver David Givens in the seventh.

As pointed out in the team's pre-draft press release, all four of those players had "significant" careers with the team as starters.

New England doesn't have a whole lot of holes to fill, though it could use some secondary help, a contributor on the defensive front and a young perimeter receiver.

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