New England was probably the hardest franchise to do this with due to their approach to the draft. They always pick really late and either get good value, trade out of the first round, or surrender their picks due to their latest scandal (spin zone, your 1st pick can’t bust if you lose it for cheating). Last year they traded their first rounder for Brandin Cooks, which was absolutely robbery due to his age and abilities.
I finally settled on Dominique Easley, the defensive tackle out of Florida that New England took 29th overall in the 2014 draft. Easley had been a dominant player in college, when he wasn’t injured. He missed significant time due to tearing both of his ACLs while at Florida. New England took him in hopes that he could stay healthy and be a force against the running game.
Instead they got a player who’s history repeated itself, Easley suffered another knee injury and also tore his quadricep, essentially missing a season for each injury. He only played in 22 games before he was released in 2016. There were also murmurs about his attitude towards the coaching staff, and we all know that’s not the “Patriot Way.”
He was selected so late in the round that it didn’t really hurt them that he didn’t pan out. But there was still plenty of talent available, DeMarcus Lawrence was taken 5 spots later. Also available were an impressive trio of wide receivers in Devante Adams, Allen Robinson, and Jarvis Landry. Had New England selected one of those three they would have had instant impact players, and more than likely wouldn’t have had to trade their 2017 first rounder for Brandin Cooks.
Honestly I don’t feel bad for New England here, it’s hard to pity them when they’re running the table every other year and dominating the AFC. They hit so often in the later rounds and get the most out of all of their players. That’s why they barely had a pick for me to make fun of. New England will continue to dominate as long as Belichick is there turning picks into more picks and those picks into contributors.