NFL teams and analysts baffled by Patriots’ draft | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports’ Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Yahoo Sports’ Lead NFL Draft Analyst Eric Edholm discuss the bewildering selections made by Bill Belichick and New England. If theses draft picks don’t turn into productive players, do the Patriots need to think about taking the draft out of Belichick’s control? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.

Video transcript

CHARLES ROBINSON: Got to get into maybe a player that went a little higher than we thought, but-- look, I think it's simple, OK? Like, you just look at the Patriots draft, and I'm like, I--

ERIC EDHOLM: [INAUDIBLE] , yeah.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I mean, like, I even-- I made the meme during the draft, Belichick [BLEEP] them mocks, you know? Because it was just like-- because he was clearly-- he was doing it his way, and-- and, you know, I just-- it's funny because it wasn't just the draft analyst. You know, I think that's the thing is that often we get into these situations where--

ERIC EDHOLM: Echo chamber of media guys. Right.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, or we're reading somebody else saying something or Sean McVay comes out and says, you know, like they were all surprised all of a sudden, that Cole Strange goes in the first round, but what was interesting was I kind of started asking some other teams about Strange. I'm like, do we just like, is this the opposite of all the draft guys and all the analysts everybody just like blew it on this? No, there were a number of teams that were like, had him in the fourth.

Other people were like, didn't think he'd come off in the top 100. Well, just all-- so definitely-- Sean McVay and Les Snead were not alone. I think they were a little surprised. I don't know who else, but I understand from the Patriots that there was another team that was pretty interested in him in that kind of zone where they were-- end of the first, top of the second.

So maybe the Patriots part of that, too, was kind of knowing, hey, there's someone else out here fishing for this guy, and we might not have an opportunity. We can't just assume that everybody's sleeping on him. There's another team that really likes him. I don't know who that other team is or if that's even true, but it was pretty interesting to see that pick, and then subsequently-- it was a couple of picks, you know, the next--

ERIC EDHOLM: Tyquan Thorton, yeah.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Like, he's a super fast guy. And then you're like, OK, what else? Super fast guy.

ERIC EDHOLM: Like, no, no, no, fast fast. Yeah, right, yeah. Yeah, the strange thing was interesting. I had a number 91, I think, on my board. And I watched him down in Mobile, and, yeah, he's a total throwback. He'll like-- he doesn't wear like arm pads or gloves or anything like. It's kind of weird to see. You see long snappers with that, but like not very many offensive linemen sort of adorned that way. And let's face it, he got his ass kicked on a few reps. The best part about it was that after that, like the next rep, he almost always won.

Like, he's one of those-- OK, you pick yourself up. Does that read like a first round pick to you, though, Charles? Like, OK, so he's a try hard guy with above average athleticism. No, question, like, he tested very, very well. I think he fits their mold culture wise, and to be frank, we probably said something very similar about Logan Mankins. Mankins got a lot of like third round grades when he came out and things, and he ended up being-- but this kid is not Logan Mankins.

He does not have Logan Mankins strength, right? He does not have that same sort of play demeanor, I don't think, so-- whatever, that's just me. I could be wrong. And if am, great. But, Thornton, they have not drafted a player like him since like Bethel Johnson, right? Where it was just like, just speed, not very many other elite qualities to his game.

CHARLES ROBINSON: I'll tell you this about the Patriots, though, Bill has caught a [BLEEP] ton of flak for how he is drafted, and this is definitely one where, clearly, I mean, not that we would ever think Bill cares anyway, but there is going to be a microscope on this one. And if this is a lot of failure from a bunch of guys that people are saying are reaches, that is going to play really horribly.

And remember, this is an offseason where Robert Kraft is kind of like, hey, we haven't had success in the playoffs. Like, he's kind of putting some pressure on Bill.

ERIC EDHOLM: Some heat.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I don't think anything's happening there, obviously, but it's not going to help, OK? And I would not be surprised if, let's say, this doesn't go well-- if it goes well, great. Then he's a genius again, and we're all duh, duh, duh duh. But if it goes poorly, I wonder if at some point there's not some people who are like, maybe it's time to take the draft out of Bill's hands.

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