By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on March 28, 2014
When it comes to model franchises the New England Patriots are at the top of the list; however, they have suffered through many draft blunders throughout their history. Here I'll take a look at the five biggest draft busts in Patriots' history. To be considered a bust in this slideshow, the player must have been drafted in the first three rounds and offered little to no contribution to the team during their tenure. Enjoy!
Linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer was a beast in college for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He won the Butkus Award and was a First-Team All-American. The Pats took Katzenmoyer with No. 28 pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, and he put together a solid rookie season with 63 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception. Unfortunately, due to a neck injury, he only played eight more games the rest of his career.
Expectations were high for CB Chris Canty coming into the league. Taken at No. 29 in the 1997 draft, Canty was supposed to solidify the defense aligning parallel to Ty Law. The Patriots were sure they had two playmakers at the CB position to put their defense over the top. Instead, he never made any significant contributions and only started 10 games in two seasons with New England. He only lasted three years in the league.
Now let's get to the Bill Belichick era and its blunders. Dowling barely lasted two seasons with New England. He was featured in just two games in 2011 and six games in 2012 before he was cut. The saddest part is that the Patriots traded up to draft Dowling at No. 33 in the 2011 draft. It was another waste of draft selection on a DB who never panned out.
In 2006, the Patriots were looking to fill the void that Deion Branch left when he signed with Seattle. Belichick traded up to select Chad Jackson at No. 36. He caught 13 passes his rookie season and only played in two games before he was cut in 2007. He lasted only one more season in the NFL. By the way, a wide receiver by the name of Greg Jennings was drafted at No. 52 in the same draft.
The 2009 Draft may have been the worst draft for the Patriots in the Belichick-era. The Patriots traded their No. 26 pick to the Packers for the No. 41 and No. 83 picks. The Packers drafted LB Clay Matthews with the 26th pick while New England drafted Darius Butler at No. 41 and Brandon Tate at No. 83. Pro-Bowlers S Jairus Byrd and WR Mike Wallace were selected at No. 42 and No. 84. Tate and Butler each spent two seasons in New England.
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