There was a point in time when no one would dare question Bill Belichick’s NFL Draft strategy. That time is not the present.
Belichick and the New England Patriots had a “strange” 2022 NFL Draft highlighted by first-round pick Cole Strange (you see what I did there?). And former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, like many others, is utterly confused by some of their selections.
Orlovsky recently appeared on ESPN, and he had a lot to say about the Pats’ decisions.
The New England Patriots made some odd picks in the 2022 NFL Draft
The Patriots had some holes they needed to address going into last week’s NFL Draft. Their interior offensive line is a glaring weakness, and they could use a wide receiver or two. New England also needs linebacker and cornerback help.
Belichick, the head coach and general manager, essentially addressed all of those needs (other than linebacker), but he did so in a bizarre way.
First, the Patriots selected former Tennessee-Chattanooga guard Cole Strange in the first round. He’s a solid player and would have been a good pick – had they grabbed him later. Strange didn’t have first-round value heading into the draft. So, they could have addressed another position with that pick and still took him in another round.
There are also major questions about New England selecting former Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton in the second round. Thornton has blazing speed, but there were other more polished receivers still available when he went off the board. Then, there was the odd move of selecting a quarterback, Bailey Zappe, in the fourth round, despite this being a weak QB class and the Pats already having Mac Jones. They also took two running backs in the fourth and sixth rounds, even with having Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson on their roster.
The Patriots’ decisions didn’t make much sense, and while they got some solid players, it appears they overvalued many of them.
Dan Orlovsky called out the Pats’ odd draft
Numerous experts have questioned the Patriots’ odd selections since the conclusion of this year’s draft, and Dan Orlovsky was recently vocal about his confusion.
“Thornton in the second round gives me vibes of Corey Coleman, gives me vibes of Kendall Wright, gives me vibes of Denzel Mims or Tyrell Williams: These Baylor receivers that are supposed to be awesome receivers; they come into the NFL, and then they’re not great players,” Orlovsky said on the May 2 episode of NFL Live (Williams didn’t play at Baylor, but you get his point). “… The receivers that went (off the board) after them were Skyy Moore, Alec Pierce, George Pickens. Give me one of those cats, and I feel way better because they’re speedy receivers and good players, more refined wide receivers.”
Orlovsky then added that the Pats’ Zappe selection didn’t make much sense to him, and the fact they took two running backs was also confusing.
“I get it’s the Patriots, but I’m confused by a lot of what they did,” Orlovsky said.
So is everyone else, Dan.
The Pats have been a poor drafting team for several years, only selecting two Pro Bowlers since 2014. It might be time for Bill Belichick the GM to hold himself accountable for his personnel decisions.