Peter King slams New England Patriots and Belichick after business during NFL Draft

Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots

NFL journalist Peter King has given a damning indictment of the New England Patriots and their activity during the NFL Draft.

There was certainly a lot of noise made in the NFL on draft night, whether it be through the players that were selected, the players that weren’t, or the multitude of trades that took place during the extravaganza.

However, a lot of noise was also coming out of the New England Patriots in Foxborough, although not necessarily in a good way. 

What did they do?

With their 1st pick in the draft, the 29th overall pick, they took guard Cole Strange out of the Univeristy of Tennessee-Chatanooga, a pick that certainly got an interesting reaction from LA Rams duo Sean McVay and Les Snead when they saw it announced:

To top that off, in another seemingly weird move, they used a 4th round pick on quarterback Bailey Zappe from Western Kentucky, this despite having their franchise guy in Mac Jones already in place. 

King joins in the criticism 

Speaking to Colin Cowherd on The Herd, King went further than that with his comments about the pick, saying that the pick was ‘naive’ of them, before revealing what others around the league made of the decision before looking at the Partriots recent draft history overall:

‘This is a bizarre word to use for Bill Belichick, and I wrote this in my column, I thought that pick was naive. In the wake of Thursday night’s draft I talked to 25 people around the league, or texted with them…There’s not a soul who thought that was A) a smart pick or B) a guy who wouldn’t have been available, midway or late in the 2nd round’

‘I don’t understand why you would give 1st round value to a guy who most people think was a 3rd round pick’. 

‘They have not drafted great recently, they just haven’t. We can go back to N’Keal Harry three years ago. But they’ve had some great picks, J.C Jackson, great pick down the line corner. 

‘So I still think that Belichick’s got it, I just think in this particular case he blew it’.

The benefit of the doubt? 

It’s fair to say that the New England Patriots have something of a different approach when it comes to how they tackle the draft.

Afterall, Tom Brady was famously a pick in the 6th round in 2000, Julian Edelman was a quarterback that they picked up in the 7th round and turned into a wide receiver 2009, whilst Rob Gronkowski was picked up in 2010 in the 2nd round after a back injury caused his stock to fall.

And at the same time, they have had a number of first-rounders who, as King hints at in N’Keal Harry, haven’t exactly lived up to the hype, so it sort of balances out. 

New England Patriots receiver N'Keal Harry
New England Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

But at the end of the day, they have managed to turn that into 6 Super Bowl victories since the turn of the millennium, so Belichick certainly knows what he’s doing and should get some level of leeway here.

On the surface of it, it is certainly one of the stranger drafts that the Patriots have gone through during his tenure, and if it doesn’t end up working out, then you might hav to question just how long Belichick is up to the task moving forward.

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